Tuesday, February 21, 2017



Juvenile graphic novel
"Hi! Penelope here. Peppi for short. It's my first day at
Berrybrook Middle School, and I just tripped over my feet and dropped
...Including my dignity...
...And then this boy comes over to help. Which is sweet and
kind of great, right? Except..."
Since I'd been a new kid in not one but five high schools,
Svetlana Chmakova's Awkward had me hooked at the first page. Anyone
who has experienced that walking on thin ice sensation of entering a
new school where the slightest faux pas can doom you to being ignored
or bullied til graduation do you part will probably not be able to put
the book down.
It turns out that the kid who comes to Peppi's rescue is the
target of bullies who jump in with loud comments and laughter.
Peppi's first rule for school survival is to not get noticed by the
mean kids. Mortified, she pushes her would be rescuer, Jaime, away, a
move she regrets, only not quickly enough to make amends.
Peppi's second rule is to join clubs of kids who share her
interests. She quickly joins the art club. She's there in time to
hear their highly eccentric supervising teacher, Mr. Ramirez, deliver
some bad news. Art club will not get a table at the annual school
club fair. Their organizational nemesis, science club, however, will.
Science club is everything art club is not. Their supervising
teacher, Miss Tobins, is the epitome of organization. While art club
members follow their inner muses, science club people cause a lot of
trouble which is excused because they win plenty of awards and make
the school look good.
The only thing the two groups have in common is mutual
animosity. When the administration very unwisely engages them in
rivalry, it's all out warfare.
Oh, yeah, and Jaime is in science club.
As you've probably noticed, I'm becoming increasingly fond of
graphic novels. Awkward is one of my favorites in this genre. I
highly recommend it, especially to kids and adults who have had the
new kid in school experience.
On a personal note, all that snowflake snipping up to Wilson Center
sure must have inspired Mother Nature. The next day late in the
morning it started snowing. The first flakes started falling when I
left Orono Public Library after volunteering. I reached UMaine to
find it all was closing down and the panel I was to speak on being
postponed. Luckily I got a ride home. We'd escalated into full scale
blizzard. We inched along in piss poor visibility. My warm home
looked pretty good.
A great big shout put goes out to all who were in on this unexpected
jules hathaway

Sent from my iPod

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