Note: This post is part of a series on School Library Media/Materials for a course
Telgemeier, R. (2012). Drama. New York: Graphix.
Callie deeply loves all things theater. She’s the set designer for the stage crew, and has lofty ideas of how to design the set (especially the cannon) for this year’s production, Moon over Mississippi. Drama follows Callie’s attempt to navigate the drama on stage, behind the scenes and in life. The book follows Callie as she meets new friends, twins Jesse and Justin, deals with her feelings for her crush Greg, and all the trials and tribulations of putting on a spectacular show, on a budget and with limited time. The author brings us a graphic novel featuring a diverse set of characters that humorously explores friendship, crushes, and all-around drama of middle school life.
This book is an excellent inclusion for any library, especially for middle schoolers and tweens who may get forgotten as the group between children’s books and Young Adult works. Additionally, the storyline with Justin and Jesse will be great for LGBTQI readers. Justin is out to his brother (and later, Callie) yet struggles with how his dad will feel about being gay. The treatment of the LGBT issues is wonderful, addressing the complexities of being gay in middle school while at the same time normalizing it as a non-issue. This could be seen as a weakness, since the primary theme of the book is not LGBT issues, but I feel that the fact that the LGBT storyline just being part of the story instead of the main plot line is actually a strength of the work. The medium of graphic novel could also be of use for reluctant readers.
English/Language Arts Standards:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.3 Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.6 Analyze how differences in the points of view of the characters and the audience or reader (e.g., created through the use of dramatic irony) create such effects as suspense or humor.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
Links to supporting content:
Subjects/themes: Acceptance, perseverance, tweens, drama, LGBTQI