May 9, 2013


Drama, by Raina Telgemeier, is a graphic novel that follows Callie, a techie in her middle school drama club. Because drama club is the center of Callie's life, the club and her personal life frequently collide.  As such, the drama referenced in the title applies to both the drama club and the teenage drama Callie experiences in her daily routine: unrequited crushes, panic attacks over text messaging, potential gay-bashing bullies, etc.

The angst is very peppy.  If anything, Callie reminds me a bit of a young, stressed out Liz Lemon:

This approach effectively blends the campiness that surrounds all drama clubs with the personal angst; it would be incredibly jarring if the two didn't mesh. It doesn't beat the reader over the head with the drama, but still maintains its relatability.  It's great for middle schoolers looking for a graphic novel that is bright and funny with an emotional core.  However, for a teen looking for a more gripping, less peppy graphic novel, they'd be better off with selections similar to Anya's Ghost.

Also, the depiction of the drama club is spot on.  Tweens/teens who participates in theater will appreciate how well Telgemeier captures the spirit.

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