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Drama: A Graphic Novel

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PLACES, EVERYONE! Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can't really sing. Instead she's the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn't know much about carpe PLACES, EVERYONE! Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can't really sing. Instead she's the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn't know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!


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PLACES, EVERYONE! Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can't really sing. Instead she's the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn't know much about carpe PLACES, EVERYONE! Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can't really sing. Instead she's the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn't know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!

30 review for Drama: A Graphic Novel

  1. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    It might be difficult to tell from the page count, but this is actually a graphic novel. I took this with me to the gym today, I've been going to the gym regularly for the first time in my life to try to correct some injuries instead of succumbing to surgery and I wanted to try to read while exercising. So I thought I'd bring something easy that didn't require a lot of concentration since they play music in the gym and I normally can't read if I hear music with words, but there was just enough a It might be difficult to tell from the page count, but this is actually a graphic novel. I took this with me to the gym today, I've been going to the gym regularly for the first time in my life to try to correct some injuries instead of succumbing to surgery and I wanted to try to read while exercising. So I thought I'd bring something easy that didn't require a lot of concentration since they play music in the gym and I normally can't read if I hear music with words, but there was just enough ambient noise for me to block it out. I actually rode one of the bikes and was sitting in the front row where people walk past and I probably couldn't have chosen a more children's-looking book. Heh, whatever! I finished the whole thing AND kept my heart rate in the 130s the whole time. So, there. /random anecdote What made me sad though, was coming home and reading the negative reviews. Note: don't even BOTHER with Amazon if you're looking for, lack of a different term, better opinions. Just ... don't. You might be wondering why the negative reviews made me sad though, since I myself gave this 2 stars. Well, go read the top 1 star review here. I'll wait. Yeah. So. I gave this book 2 stars because I thought it was "just ok." Here was my thought process while reading it: "Oh, this is fun, it's reminding me of my time in drama, huh, well, the side love stories are kind of blah and I want to read more about the musical and set design and everything, oh, I totally saw that 'twist' coming, well, this book was ok but I wish it was longer and I wanted more character development and less emphasis on any sort of romance." NEVER, did I ONCE think, "Oh my god this is so inappropriate! How could this have an age rating of 10 and up?! This should have a warning label! Parents should know about the deviant sexual behavior this contains! Ugh, I was totally mislead and this was just wrong on so many levels." Never, did anything of the sort cross my mind. Tell me, oh people who gave this 1 star because (view spoiler)[two boys kissed and one wore a dress to save the show because the lead girl was having hysterics and the understudy was nowhere to be found (hide spoiler)] , tell me, if this story was about a boy and a GIRL would you say it shouldn't be on library shelves where kids could see a picture of them kissing? Would it need a warning label then? Should it be banned because there would be, horror of horrors, heterosexual activity in it? Actually, DON'T tell me. I have no desire to hear your opinion whatsoever since I already know the answer. I gave this 2 stars because I thought the romance made the main story weaker and I didn't particularly care for the lead character. I had no idea what this book was about besides the drama (as in, musical "drama") aspect and I wanted so much more of that and then was disappointed that it was more about a boy-crazy girl than anything else. It also contained a lot of cliches as well, even the much lauded (view spoiler)[end things at the school dance cliche. (hide spoiler)] If you're going to read this book, I hope you rate it because you liked (or disliked) the story and not because it contains "the gay." Well look, now you've been warned. If gay people bother you and you don't want your kids to read about them, don't give them this book. There, you're welcome, I just did your parenting for you. Seriously, with that being said, to all of the parents that handed this book over to their kids and then got "fired up" because they didn't realize this book has gay kids in it; shame on you. Shame on you for not paying attention to what your kids are reading, shame on you for being so disgustingly close-minded and bigoted, and shame on you for teaching your children those same disgustingly close-minded and bigoted views.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nat

    I went into this graphic novel a bit wary, since I had read Telgemeier's Smile and wasn't the biggest fan... But with this newest addition I was ecstatic to find that Drama was nothing like I'd anticipated. Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can't really sing. Instead she's the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-sc I went into this graphic novel a bit wary, since I had read Telgemeier's Smile and wasn't the biggest fan... But with this newest addition I was ecstatic to find that Drama was nothing like I'd anticipated. Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can't really sing. Instead she's the set designer for the drama department stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn't know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier! The characters in this comic seemed a lot more mature to me than the ones in Smile, so I was surprised to find that they were mostly just 7th and 8th graders. On a totally separate note, Drama had a number of enjoyable moments that left me grinning from ear to ear. The tons of laugh-out-loud moments, plus the cast of characters being a bunch of loving and dedicated kids kept me satisfied from start to finish. Also: • The color schemes and palettes in Drama were vibrant, spellbinding, and incredibly fitting to the ongoing theme.     • I loved getting an inside look to what happens behind the theatre stage. It reminded me a lot of this incredible video I watched awhile back but still think about. • The exploration of sexuality and coming out. I'm sad we didn't get to see it from the character's perspective, but still... I loved the turn of events that lead to this iconic moment: Dream big, kids. • This iconic clap-back: This Callie girl is bold, like the time she auditioned for fun in front of everybody to calm down Jesse's nerves. I love her.  On that note, I'll wrap up my review to say one last thing: Drama is a noteworthy graphic novel jam-packed with kids full of talent, courage, and dedication. I'm excited to check out more works by Raina Telgemeier in the near future. Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying Drama, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission! Support creators you love. Buy a Coffee for nat (bookspoils) with http://Ko-fi.com/bookspoils

  3. 5 out of 5

    Reading_ Tamishly

    Love it so much!!!!!!!! Want to start reading graphic novels??! Start with this one ASAP!! One of the best, no, it's actually the best middle grade graphic novel I have read! The artwork is the best, the characters are amazing, the plot goes pretty good and the character dynamics is really great. As the title says, the story is about a class organizing a drama for the drama club at school. It shows how a dedicated team works for the success of a good drama show! It also shows the different personalit Love it so much!!!!!!!! Want to start reading graphic novels??! Start with this one ASAP!! One of the best, no, it's actually the best middle grade graphic novel I have read! The artwork is the best, the characters are amazing, the plot goes pretty good and the character dynamics is really great. As the title says, the story is about a class organizing a drama for the drama club at school. It shows how a dedicated team works for the success of a good drama show! It also shows the different personalities of different characters which aren't that likeable, the mean and the desperate ones who would go on hurting other people to gain things for themselves. But this story stands out in showing acceptance to people who are introverts and so called 'nerds', the 'misfits', or the ones with different sexual orientation. I love the story shows how crazy crushes can be, how the crush can crush you and how you can crush your crush when you're seen as the second option. Yes, this is the part I actually felt so good reading this one! Kudos to the main character, Callie! Damn, I have never used the word 'crush' this much in a sentence before ☺️ I would say go for Raina Telgemeier's books without thinking twice! I am so going to read whatever book she's written or she's going to write. One of my all-time favourites forever!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Calista

    Drama Love! I love theatre geeks and people of the theatre. I was in the pit of the musicals and I got to be around the actors and I loved it. Theatre culture is amazing and I adore the people. It is a great experience. I feel like this little story captures those high school theatre days so well. Raina hits the notes perfectly. There is drama everywhere. There is drama on stage and to top it all off there is the school dance in there to make sure there was enough drama. There is also the main c Drama Love! I love theatre geeks and people of the theatre. I was in the pit of the musicals and I got to be around the actors and I loved it. Theatre culture is amazing and I adore the people. It is a great experience. I feel like this little story captures those high school theatre days so well. Raina hits the notes perfectly. There is drama everywhere. There is drama on stage and to top it all off there is the school dance in there to make sure there was enough drama. There is also the main character falling for several of the guys and being the theatre, one of them turns out to be gay. She bounces back pretty well. The subject is handled very well and I love this story. Raina has some good stories but this is my favorite story of hers. I love this little book. I need to add it to my collection.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ Drama was meant to be a Banned Books Week selection, but the wait list at the library was a little longer than anticipated (and hopefully full of children who were taking a stand against censorship and not just old ladies like me). Why it’s banned or challenged? Homosexuality – in the form of first crushes. In all actuality it's about the cast, but mainly crew, of the school play and all the goings on while they try to make it to openi Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ Drama was meant to be a Banned Books Week selection, but the wait list at the library was a little longer than anticipated (and hopefully full of children who were taking a stand against censorship and not just old ladies like me). Why it’s banned or challenged? Homosexuality – in the form of first crushes. In all actuality it's about the cast, but mainly crew, of the school play and all the goings on while they try to make it to opening night while battling first crushes, first heartbreak, mean girls, best friends, and all the other goings on of your typical 8th grader. Dear Other Humans: It shouldn’t be that hard of a choice to make . . . ANY book that a person wants to read is a book that should be available for reading. As for any kiddo who might come across this “review?” Do you, little boo. Be true to yourself –you can play sports or be in the band or be in drama or want to kiss a girl or a boy – just be a good person. And now Imma borrow someone else’s much better words than my own do the talking . . . . ♫♪♫ When the sharpest words wanna cut me down I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out I am brave, I am bruised I am who I'm meant to be, this is me Look out 'cause here I come And I'm marching on to the beat I drum I'm not scared to be seen I make no apologies THIS IS ME! ♫♪♫ And for my little BoobTube lovin’ buddy – here’s a clip that made me have all the feelings . . . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLFEv...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kellee Moye

    Raina Telgemeier does it again. She has a knack for telling a serious yet humorous story with colorful, fun artwork. I loved her main character Callie- she was a very real 7th grade girl. I also loved that this book was not about the lead actress in a musical- it was about the stage crew (though some actors did play a part). Raina also does a wonderful job at introducing middle school boys who are questioning their sexuality in an unbiased, nonjudgmental way. It is completely appropriate for mid Raina Telgemeier does it again. She has a knack for telling a serious yet humorous story with colorful, fun artwork. I loved her main character Callie- she was a very real 7th grade girl. I also loved that this book was not about the lead actress in a musical- it was about the stage crew (though some actors did play a part). Raina also does a wonderful job at introducing middle school boys who are questioning their sexuality in an unbiased, nonjudgmental way. It is completely appropriate for middle grade and it is very accessible to readers. Well done!!!

  7. 4 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    pros: - normalized queer rep that is very sweet ♥ - cute art & pretty color palettes - relatable for anyone who's lived through the horrors of middle school, but esp. if they were/are in drama! cons: - honestly... kind of boring :( - the MC is so boy-crazy it got a little old. I wanted to see more of her interacting with friends she wasn't crushing on! All in all, though, this was really cute and I enjoy the thought of giving two middle fingers up to everyone who thinks this book should be banned for pros: - normalized queer rep that is very sweet ♥ - cute art & pretty color palettes - relatable for anyone who's lived through the horrors of middle school, but esp. if they were/are in drama! cons: - honestly... kind of boring :( - the MC is so boy-crazy it got a little old. I wanted to see more of her interacting with friends she wasn't crushing on! All in all, though, this was really cute and I enjoy the thought of giving two middle fingers up to everyone who thinks this book should be banned for a chaste, one-panel kiss between two consenting boys, so... yeah, 4 stars. :)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Janete Fabricio ON SEMI HIATUS

    Learning English with a middle-grade graphic novel is super! And this story is very interesting.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Guest Post by Addie, my 9-year-old daughter DRAMA is about girl named Callie who is in a acting class at school. She likes a boy who finds out he is gay in acting class. Callie loves to read acting books at the library. In this book Callie is a set designer and at the end of the she becomes the stage manager. I would recommend this book to my friends because I think they would like it. Callie learns about gay people and how she can still be friends with them. My reaction: Well, I guess I probably s Guest Post by Addie, my 9-year-old daughter DRAMA is about girl named Callie who is in a acting class at school. She likes a boy who finds out he is gay in acting class. Callie loves to read acting books at the library. In this book Callie is a set designer and at the end of the she becomes the stage manager. I would recommend this book to my friends because I think they would like it. Callie learns about gay people and how she can still be friends with them. My reaction: Well, I guess I probably should have read this first before giving it to Addie! I think the topics covered were a bit over her going-into-4th-grade mind. She'll understand it better when she's in 6th or 7th. I do think it's funny that when I asked what she liked about the book or what she learned from it, she wrote the 2nd paragraph. She then told me that she doesn't have any gay kids in her class at school, so I had to explain that they may not know it yet or not want to share. It was quite the interesting conversation! I thought the book was adorable. Sweet read about junior high romance--for those who are straight, bi, gay or questioning. The graphic novel is written like a play in acts, and the fact that the characters are all involved in the middle school play only supports the play-within-a-play concept.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sophia Triad

    Callie wants to be an actress, but unfortunately she cannot act or sing. Thus, she becomes the set designer for the school play. Lots of drama around onstage and offstage. Supporting friends and an annoying little brother. Another excellent graphic novel by our family's favourite author. Callie wants to be an actress, but unfortunately she cannot act or sing. Thus, she becomes the set designer for the school play. Lots of drama around onstage and offstage. Supporting friends and an annoying little brother. Another excellent graphic novel by our family's favourite author.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Estelle

    Review originally posted on RatherBeReadingBlog.com: I am absolutely giddy in love with Raina Telgemeier’s work. Drama is the first graphic novel I’ve ever read and while it only took me about an hour to get through it, I couldn’t stop going back and smiling over the details in these colorful scenes and how perfectly Raina has been able to capture the middle school experience. And for the theater lovers, finally: a book that celebrates those dear people who work on the stage crew, the kookiness t Review originally posted on RatherBeReadingBlog.com: I am absolutely giddy in love with Raina Telgemeier’s work. Drama is the first graphic novel I’ve ever read and while it only took me about an hour to get through it, I couldn’t stop going back and smiling over the details in these colorful scenes and how perfectly Raina has been able to capture the middle school experience. And for the theater lovers, finally: a book that celebrates those dear people who work on the stage crew, the kookiness that ensues, the intertwining love stories, budget constraints and trying to actually get people to the shows. (Plus the book was divided in Acts with an Intermission – such a cute set up.) Callie is a theater dork in a way that I geek out over theater and books and Disney. She cannot contain her love of the performing arts and I love that about her. She doesn’t give a crap what other people think and good for her. Embrace what you love, Callie, and don’t let that go. She also falls for boys pretty easily and gee, don’t we all remember being like that in 8th grade? If it wasn’t one boy it was another. Raina’s creation of Callie’s wide eyes in particular scenes brought such comedy to the page. It was only one of the many small details that made such an impact. (I also loved the attention paid to Callie’s bedroom. You can learn so much more about a character’s background without reading words.) Raina also does a great job of integrating a crew of multi-cultural kids (I came from a very diverse middle school so this was great to see) and also blending in a variety of characters with different sexual preferences. As I read more and more books that include LGBT characters, I am so inclined to hug these writers who are so keen on depicting TRUE life. I can only describe Drama as a total delight. It has surprising depth but doesn’t weigh down the flow of the story or even the lighter moments. There are so many details to look at and take in when it comes to this novel, and I could see myself flipping through it again and again and always finding something new to love. The awesome illustrations and bright colors paired with a sweet story make Drama a highlight in anyone’s book pile.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Erica ♋️✨

    THIS WAS SO CUTE!!!! 🥰💖🏳️‍🌈

  13. 5 out of 5

    K.

    This has consistently been one of the most popular graphic novels for middle graders in every school library I've worked in. It's fun, it's an interesting story, and the art is great. Essentially, it's the story of a year 7 kid who's working on the set design for the school play. Along the way, she makes new friends, overcomes obstacles in her vision for the play, and struggle buses her way through friendships and crushes. I loved the fact that it's a middle grade graphic novel with LGBTQIA repr This has consistently been one of the most popular graphic novels for middle graders in every school library I've worked in. It's fun, it's an interesting story, and the art is great. Essentially, it's the story of a year 7 kid who's working on the set design for the school play. Along the way, she makes new friends, overcomes obstacles in her vision for the play, and struggle buses her way through friendships and crushes. I loved the fact that it's a middle grade graphic novel with LGBTQIA representation, and that said representation is handled as well and as explicitly as it is. There's no hinting that these characters are attracted to people of the same gender. They get literal heart eyes for people of the same gender. And it's great. Honestly, the only reason I hadn't read this earlier is because I can never get my hands on a copy because it's always on loan!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Krissy

    Read this with my 8 year old. We both thought it was cute!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    I'm not someone who Googles old acquaintances much; I tend to leave the past in the past, and I'm also a bit of a digital recluse. (Who am I kidding: a bit of a recluse in general!) By this I mean that I never got much into Facebook and have limited myself to only dabbling in other platforms. GR is pretty much the only mechanism I regularly use to virtually interact with others, and I like it because it's focused precisely on the literary aspects of life rather than, you know, All Of Life. Noneth I'm not someone who Googles old acquaintances much; I tend to leave the past in the past, and I'm also a bit of a digital recluse. (Who am I kidding: a bit of a recluse in general!) By this I mean that I never got much into Facebook and have limited myself to only dabbling in other platforms. GR is pretty much the only mechanism I regularly use to virtually interact with others, and I like it because it's focused precisely on the literary aspects of life rather than, you know, All Of Life. Nonetheless: I did recently, and really out of nowhere, compulsively Google an old friend/acquaintance from high school, someone who'd been a grade ahead of me and whom I knew from having done the annual Shakespeare play together for three autumns at the small suburban Detroit Catholic high school we attended. Though my Googling was fairly random and unusual overall, it was neither terribly unusual nor random in that my Googling was centered on an acquaintance from my high school drama club circle. I've found that years and years later, even after having wandered the world and attended some of its fine universities and wrested out an existence in some of its major cities, these fellow adolescent Midwestern amateur thespians, clad in their finest early-90s goth attire, are still the folks I think of most often, and most fondly, and hope to find well. Why is this?! I guess I believe, or at least can hypothesize based on my personal experience, that a significant portion of one's best self - including the part that constructively solves problems and contends with challenges, and the part that empathizes and connects with others and develops a sense of self in relation to them - is developed during a critical high school window that, in the case of myself, and presumably many others, happens to occur right around the peak time period of prospective involvement in school drama club, a place where even the most introverted kids can be compelled to safely push comfort zones, interact with others, formulate and share opinions, and be encouraged to use one's unique talents to contribute to the betterment of a community. I often feel like my personal journey of self-actualization in the decades after high school can in some ways be viewed as an unnecessarily elaborate full-circle return to many values and sensibilities I initially formulated in high school, only after having figured out what they'd actually look like IRL. And likewise: I've been thinking lately, as one might in my line of work (as a sexual assault counselor) and also just as a post-November-2016 citizen of the U.S., that I owe a debt of gratitude to the fellow young men in my high school drama club circle for always treating me and other young women and men with acceptance, kindness, and respect. Maybe it's because the drama club attracted sensitive and empathic and outsider-identifying kids; maybe it's because it was an itty bitty Catholic school; maybe it's because I'm just old enough to have dodged the bullets of social media, cellphone cameras, and high-speed Internet (porn) that have made school environments so harrowing, confusing, and devaluing for so many young women and men today. In any case, I'm fortunately able to remember high school as a time of safe and happy coeducational interaction for me and for my friends. The old acquaintance I Googled was someone who helped make this safety and comfort possible. I distinctly remember the caring and polite manner in which he treated me and others, even just in quiet and seemingly insignificant everyday encounters. Sometimes when I listen to the stories of sexual assault survivors (most of whom already knew and worked or studied or hung out with or dated the perpetrator), I'm amazed that socializing used to be so safe, that there once existed the kind of simple, essential, reliable, unwavering kindness and concern demonstrated by my friend. While being treated according to the principles of basic human rights and dignity shouldn't be a privilege, in a U.S. high school or elsewhere, it still seems rare to me today. I'm sure that being treated this way as a young woman positively impacted my self-regard and in some part made it possible for me to subsequently take on the tough business of post-high school living with the best and fullest effort I could muster. So it was amidst a grateful curiosity that I impetuously Googled my old acquaintance. I discovered that he is no longer living, and had died very suddenly and young, in the vicinity of 40, from a previously undiscovered heart defect. By all available accounts, he had remained to the very end as kind a soul to all as I'd ever remembered him. His kindness is corroborated by many independent online voices of those who knew him throughout time and place. Many of these online anecdotes of his kindness rang so true to my memory that I could have written them myself. This graphic novel, Drama, has been reliably lurking in my library for years, and I've gathered it's become a kind of modern classic. On a whim I reserved it, picked it up, and read it shortly after learning about my friend's death, only a while thereafter making the connection that this act of reading was likely a fond, if initially subconscious, memorial to my friend. Suffice it to say that you should probably read this book, and will likely appreciate it, if you have any good memories of your own scholastic drama club experiences. I wish I could draw well enough to share with others the story of the supportive community that I was fortunate to experience in my youth, and in the company of my friend who probably never realized the full extent of his positive impact or how widely it was appreciated. I couldn't hope to draw any of it, but luckily I think Drama captures the essence well enough to function as a tribute for any fellow drama kids out there, and to illustrate the power of these formative interactions and their subsequent influence on a developing young life.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Manybooks

    Although both Raina Telgemeier's autobiographic Smile and Sisters have been not only personal favourites but have also done much to enamour me a bit more of Middle Grade graphic novels in general (and this especially for themes like family and friendship), I cannot say that I have found her Drama in any manner equally engaging and enjoyable. And I guess that my main issue with Drama has for the most part been that unlike Smile and Sisters (which I have indeed found very personally relatable and Although both Raina Telgemeier's autobiographic Smile and Sisters have been not only personal favourites but have also done much to enamour me a bit more of Middle Grade graphic novels in general (and this especially for themes like family and friendship), I cannot say that I have found her Drama in any manner equally engaging and enjoyable. And I guess that my main issue with Drama has for the most part been that unlike Smile and Sisters (which I have indeed found very personally relatable and very similar to my own life as a teenager and as the older sister to a sibling who was and remains just not at all on my so called wavelength), I have found in Drama especially main protagonist Callie being so universally popular and consistently into romance and boys frustrating and in fact also rather personally tedious and monotonous (mostly because I myself was in grade seven not all that interested yet in boys, and therefore much of Drama, while not in any way inappropriate or unsuitable feeling, has also just not been all that interesting and engaging from a personal reading pleasure point of departure). And while I do find it majorly laughable and silly (not to mention infuriating, dictatorially Fascist and Stalinist) that the Ottawa Separate School Board (which is Catholic) has recently tried to get Raina Telgemeier's Drama banned from its school campuses and libraries because a few families had made a fuss and were rabidly howling because of the two boys depicted as kissing scenes and that Callie's latest potential love interest also happens to actually end up being homosexual (and that of course Drama is also actively being challenged and banned in parts of the USA), personally I have found Drama a rather blah reading experience and really not all that relatable and would therefore definitely have rather had with Callie a character a bit less into boys and a bit less giddy and universally liked (for Callie with her many friends kind of feels like the type of popular girl who when I was in Junior High, in Middle School, would have been amongst those considering me uncool, dorky and not to associate with unless absolutely necessary). Thus I guess that for me, with Middle Grade graphic novels in particular, it does seem that I do have to find them personally and emotionally engaging and also mirroring my own background and life as a teenager to a certain and even to a large extent for me to consider them as one hundred percent enjoyable and entertaining (and no, Drama really has been neither, and while not a terrible story by any stretch of the imagination, and while I can certainly understand that many readers seem to find Raina Telgemeier's Callie, her friends, her struggles, joys, etc. spot on for describing school "drama" and school life, for me, that spot on quality does both not all that much exist and does not feel all that wonderful and sweet either when reading Drama or looking at the accompanying illustrations).

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    This book was something that you can really connect to! Callie is a normal teen that deals with typical boy drama along with handling a romantic play. However, if you want some advice for boy drama, I wouldn't go to her if I were you. :) This book was something that you can really connect to! Callie is a normal teen that deals with typical boy drama along with handling a romantic play. However, if you want some advice for boy drama, I wouldn't go to her if I were you. :)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ivan

    i'm still trash for this book i'm still trash for this book

  19. 5 out of 5

    Melki

    The drama is mostly off stage in this teen-filled soap opera surrounding a high school musical. Kids here are trying to discover themselves, and their sexual orientation . . . all while putting on a Broadway-quality production. And, I love that Telgemeier focuses mostly on the stage crew rather than the actors. Favorite line - But think of the people who might come if they knew there was a cannon involved. This is utterly charming from beginning to end.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    The Summer of the Graphic Novel continues at our house. . . I love the bold and playful illustrations in this one (some might call the artwork. . . dramatic?) and Callie is my personal favorite so far of all of Telgemeier's characters. Our son graduated from a high school that has a drama program that you just would NOT believe. Every show we have attended has been at "off Broadway" standards, and several of his peers have gone on to pursue Broadway and/or a serious study of music at Berklee, so The Summer of the Graphic Novel continues at our house. . . I love the bold and playful illustrations in this one (some might call the artwork. . . dramatic?) and Callie is my personal favorite so far of all of Telgemeier's characters. Our son graduated from a high school that has a drama program that you just would NOT believe. Every show we have attended has been at "off Broadway" standards, and several of his peers have gone on to pursue Broadway and/or a serious study of music at Berklee, so the portrayal of the "drama scene" at this school felt completely authentic to me. Just an FYI. . . as a parent, I would like to give the heads-up here that both early dating and "coming out" are running themes in the book. Young Callie, a seventh grader, has a busy romantic life and a habit of falling for boys. . . who like boys. My 9-year-old could roll with it, but my 6-year-old, who kept interrupting, was becoming increasingly confused and annoyed. I tried my best to explain this matter in an age appropriate manner, but, in the end, she declared she didn't know why girls OR boys would want to date a bunch of stinky boys anyway.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Marie the Librarian

    Okay im officially a Raina Telgemeier fan. Her stories and characters and illustrations are sooo good and relateable. Down to earth and realistic. And so cute.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    I'll be honest: the only reason I read this book was that I heard it had a gay character. That's not something I'd normally do; I have no problems with gay characters in books, but I don't normally go out of my way to look for them. What made this book different was that it was a middle-grade book, meant for kids as young as second grade. I didn't know such a book existed, let alone one published by Scholastic. After I heard about Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant's story with Remnatns, I sor I'll be honest: the only reason I read this book was that I heard it had a gay character. That's not something I'd normally do; I have no problems with gay characters in books, but I don't normally go out of my way to look for them. What made this book different was that it was a middle-grade book, meant for kids as young as second grade. I didn't know such a book existed, let alone one published by Scholastic. After I heard about Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant's story with Remnatns, I sort of gave up on a book like this existing in the near-future. (Ask me about that if you're curious; I'd love to rant explain.) But apparently it not only existed, but my sister was obsessed with it. The second I realized it had a gay character, I demanded to read it. And the gay characters were handled really well, for the most part. I liked that Justin was fleshed out, that he wasn't a queer stereotype. (Well, he was in that he was into theater, but he wasn't at all girly or perverted or anything like that.) I liked that he was portrayed as being entirely comfortable with his sexuality, and that everyone around him was, too. I liked that Telgemeier didn't make it an informed attribute, that he mentioned boys that he was attracted to more than once. The one thing that I didn't like in how the gay characters was the ending; I'll discuss this more later. The other characters were just as well-rendered from the wild and outgoing Callie to the quiet and funny Jesse. I loved how their interactions were handled; their conflicts were realistic, but they were nicely resolved in a way that I think is healthy for kids to see. And I liked that Callie made mistakes and had flaws, but that she was redeemed in the end, and that she in turn forgave the people around her. It was all very positive, but still realistic. It helped that the plot was well done. There were just enough events to support the character interactions (which are really what the book is about), but it never threatened to overcome them. It was well-paced, and there were no plotholes or contradictions. Again, the only thing I didn't like was the ending. (I will discuss this later, I promise.) Other than that, the plot worked for me, in a way that most MG realistic fiction doesn't. My opinion on the artwork is a little more mixed. I wasn't a huge fan of the character designed; there was something slightly too cartoony about them; they should've been a bit more realistic looking. But other than that, the artwork was really good; it was bright and fun to look at, and it was very evocative of real motion and real life. Still, I'm not sure I can get over something that was with us as much as the character designs. Now, as promised, I'll discuss the ending. (See, I told you I would do it. What, you didn't believe me? Well, you should've. Asshole.) (view spoiler)[ My problem was when it turned out that Jesse was gay just like his brother. Since he was Callie's love interest, this caused a bit of a problem for her, to say the least, but it caused a bit of a problem for me, too. Having not one but two (possibly three) major characters be gay made the entire thing a problem (graphic) novel about being gay, which I don't think it needed to be. The reveal also came a bit too late for it to have any real impact; to have it after the climax felt very unplanned and unsatisfactory. And finally, I liked Jesse kissing another boy; it gave us a theme that you don't have to be gay to do things like that in acting, just like gay actors can pretend to be straight. But to have Jesse turned out to be gay sort of broke the aesop. It didn't work for me at all, as much as I wanted it to, and it ruined the ending for me. (hide spoiler)] Still, this was a well-written, well drawn graphic novel, and - I still can't get over this - it's a middle grade piece with a gay character. I'd highly recommend it both to kids and older readers.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    LOVE. Cannot say this enough, and a longer, more pithy review will be coming soon, but I want to see this one in EVERY. SINGLE. LIBRARY. Multiple copies. Elementary, middle, high school, public, I want it there. And Rainbow Committee, COLAGE, Our Family Coalition, GSA Network, GLSEN, I want this on every book list, you'd be idiots not to. Every so often I just want to gush thanks and praise at an author, and I am totally there with this one right now. LOVE. Cannot say this enough, and a longer, more pithy review will be coming soon, but I want to see this one in EVERY. SINGLE. LIBRARY. Multiple copies. Elementary, middle, high school, public, I want it there. And Rainbow Committee, COLAGE, Our Family Coalition, GSA Network, GLSEN, I want this on every book list, you'd be idiots not to. Every so often I just want to gush thanks and praise at an author, and I am totally there with this one right now.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jackie "the Librarian"

    Fun behind the scenes look at being a backstage drama nerd in junior high (although this felt more like high school to me). Callie is a very appealing young woman with a passion for set design. I love that she is more concerned about getting the prop cannon to work than she is about finding a boyfriend, although she does have a crush. Just the right amount of twists, a dash of teenage embarrassment, and lots of humor. Especially recommended for theater kids.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Idarah

    This book had more romantic twists than an episode of My So-Called Life! Being the drama kid that I was, I wish this had been centered more on the middle school stage production. It also felt rushed and 2-D, which is how I felt about Stitches. Oh well, I'm still a Telgemeir fan. This book had more romantic twists than an episode of My So-Called Life! Being the drama kid that I was, I wish this had been centered more on the middle school stage production. It also felt rushed and 2-D, which is how I felt about Stitches. Oh well, I'm still a Telgemeir fan.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Carmen

    The Good: Gay and bisexual characters...in 8th grade A strong female protagonist who (in the end) learns that she doesn't need a boyfriend to be happy/complete. The Bad: A bunch of characters who look alike. I know one was a set of twins, but still. A rather "blah" story about nothing much. The Good: Gay and bisexual characters...in 8th grade A strong female protagonist who (in the end) learns that she doesn't need a boyfriend to be happy/complete. The Bad: A bunch of characters who look alike. I know one was a set of twins, but still. A rather "blah" story about nothing much.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Still just as outstanding on a reread. Funny, fast read, with great artwork, and a strong message. Raina Telgemeir, whose SMILE was such a fantastic middle-grade memoir, returns to the middle school hallways with this graphic novel. Callie, a 7th grade theater geek and stage techie, is in charge of set design for her school’s spring musical, MOON OVER MISSISSIPPI. Callie’s comfortable in her role in the crew (she learned long ago that her voice would never win her a leading role), and she loves w Still just as outstanding on a reread. Funny, fast read, with great artwork, and a strong message. Raina Telgemeir, whose SMILE was such a fantastic middle-grade memoir, returns to the middle school hallways with this graphic novel. Callie, a 7th grade theater geek and stage techie, is in charge of set design for her school’s spring musical, MOON OVER MISSISSIPPI. Callie’s comfortable in her role in the crew (she learned long ago that her voice would never win her a leading role), and she loves working with her fellow backstagers, but when she meets Justin and Jesse, twin 8th graders with similar theatre interests, her life becomes more complicated. Add that to the stress of putting the show together in time, getting the cannon prop to fire effectively, and sell enough tickets for the performances, and it’s easy to see how Callie could get overwhelmed. This is a fun, well-paced, sensitive book, that deals with the vital backstage activities that make up any successful theatre production: middle school, Broadway, and every stage in between. Callie is presented as a 7th grader with self-awareness, who still must deal with all the complications that come with mercurial middle school friendships and crushes. Telgemeir’s lines and coloring fit perfectly for a middle school-themed work (simple figures, lots of brights). And while most of the scenes are realistically drawn, the sequence in which Callie and Jesse imagine themselves inside a theatrical set-design book, and in early 20th-century stage productions, is beautifully original, and a nice break from the drama. I’m most impressed, though, with the thoughtful way the issue of homosexuality is addressed – it’s probably the element within the book that receives the least amount of fanfare and drama, but it’s still presented to Callie and readers in a straight-forward fashion, one that young readers will be able to understand and appreciate. That was a very welcome surprise in this novel, and one that elevates it far above the usual school-angst tale.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Liza

    Honestly wanted to give this book three stars, but when I saw all the concern-trolling reviews, I gave it four. Many little kids have parents/cousins/aunts/uncles/grandparents/family friends/whatever in same-gender relationships. "Drama" is by NO MEANS an inappropriate read for any elementary school kid. If you think so, then you best be banning books depicting opposite-gender romances. My nine-year-old niece read this after we both read "Smile" and she loved it but warned me that "Some people t Honestly wanted to give this book three stars, but when I saw all the concern-trolling reviews, I gave it four. Many little kids have parents/cousins/aunts/uncles/grandparents/family friends/whatever in same-gender relationships. "Drama" is by NO MEANS an inappropriate read for any elementary school kid. If you think so, then you best be banning books depicting opposite-gender romances. My nine-year-old niece read this after we both read "Smile" and she loved it but warned me that "Some people think it's gross because of something that happens, but I don't think it's gross because [I am not a bigot and have queer family members]." Shame on all those who would try to infect my niece with their homophobia. So glad that "Drama" was published, and here's to the day when bigots don't try to get books banned for depicting a G-rated (because thats what this book depicts) reality.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shreya Karnati

    I like the art style of the book. The story was nice too but the main character is super boy crazy. It would have been nice to see her with her friends a little more then potential love interests.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cameron Chaney

    Drama isn't my favorite of Telgemeier's work, but still really cute and fun. I would especially recommend this to theater nerds! Drama isn't my favorite of Telgemeier's work, but still really cute and fun. I would especially recommend this to theater nerds!

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