Today's Read: Awkward
If there were an honest definition of the Middle School Experience it would be: Awkward. A weird word in itself, with too many ws and that clunky K that rises right up in the middle, the word feels like middle school, easy to identify, difficult to describe, doesn't roll of the tongue, has trouble fitting in. In Svetlana Chmakova's graphic novel Awkward, Peppi's just moved to a new school. She's still feeling like an outsider when she trips and spills her whole backpack on the ground. The only person to help Peppi is Jaime, a science-nerd who the other kids pick on and make fun of all the time. Embarrassed and afraid to be connected with Jaime's low social status, Peppi shoves him away from her and yells at him to leave her alone. Although Peppi agonizes over the way she's treated Jaime, she does nothing about it. Instead she disappears into the comfort of the other kids in her Art club who share her interests. It isn't until Peppi needs tutoring help in science and Peppi's Art Club come face to face with Jaime's Science Club that Peppi needs to decide what kind of person she wants to be and how she will deal with what she did to Jaime.
Nicely filled with a diverse cast of characters, Chmakova tells an all to real story about finding your inner voice and learning to listen to it. At the end of the novel Chmakova also writes a terrific little section on how she wrote and drew this book. Disarming and practical for any kid who is interested in the graphic novel process.