May 11, 2015
Drama by Raina Telgemeier
by Raina Telgemeier
When I started reading this, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to review it here. You may not have noticed, but I only review books that I like. I’m not interested in panning anything. I want to help readers find good books. Why was I so uncertain about this one? I requested this from the library because it is one of the American Library Associations most banned books of 2014. Don’t get me wrong – I love many banned books. But in this case I was requesting a graphic novel. I should admit up front that I’m not a huge graphic novel fan. That said, Drama may help change that.
Drama is a story about — drama. Callie is on the stage crew for her middle school’s production of Moon over Mississippi. As befits a story that takes place in middle school, this one is an emotional roller coaster.
Callie loves theater. Truly, it is her passion. Some day, she wants to design sets for Broadway shows. Until then, she is limited by the constraints of middle school.
That said, Callie is a girl who pushes the limits. She’s convinced that what Moon over Mississippi needs more than anything else is a cannon and not just a ho-hum painting of a cannon. This has to be a honest-to-goodness functioning cannon. Mr. Madera isn’t sure about the wisdom of pyrotechnics on stage but he sets a few limits and then let’s Callie go. She is definitely the girl for the job.
Threaded throughout the story of the play itself are the emotional ups and downs of being a young teen. Callie is desperate to fall in love and targets three different boys throughout the course of the story. No, she isn’t shallow. She truly likes two of them, but this is early teen love at it’s most fleet. It doesn’t help that more than once her love interest doesn’t return her interest because he’s got a thing for someone else, someone male.
If I remember correctly, that’s what got the book banned. There are gay characters. There’s even a character who may be bi. Don’t let that panic you. As with all matters romantic or sexual in this book, it is strictly rated PG. I say PG instead of G because there is some kissing — both boy/girl and boy/boy.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in theater. The characters are well-developed and three dimensional. The story is fast paced and there are enough sub-plots to make this full-length book interesting. Share it with the Drama Queen or theater geek in your life.