I’d heard so much about this book before getting ahold of a copy at a school Book Fair. I’d heard that people liked it. I ended up loving it too. It was my first “graphic novel.”
What a great story.
Raina is technically not a character, but is based on the author’s own real life experiences.
The author/illustrator does such a good job portraying the time period, and her feelings and thoughts about friendship and her own life in sixth grade. Dealing with a dental emergency whose treatment stretched on made for good drama.
What’s a graphic novel? I’ve heard strong opinions, including that they’re not worth deeming “books.” I think this idea might come from the content of some comics being more about the violence and the action drawings than the story?
According to Oxford Dictionaries a graphic novel is, “a novel in comic-strip format.” So: it’s a longer comic book.
Well this one’s a keeper. Not only are the awesome pictures integral to the emotion and tension of the book but they’re just nice to look at. What a pleasure to read an illustrated story for older readers.
This story is about an ordinary girl with opinions, to whom dramatic things happen. It’s about someone with normal family conflict, and ultimately increased self awareness and development as an artist and person after some life experiences. Wonderful.
(c) 2010 Scholastic Graphix
Thanks to Raina Telgemeier
“Grace was a girl who loved stories.” — is the first line of this book.
Grace acts out the most exciting parts of any stories she hears, sees, reads, or makes up herself.
This little girl and her buddies … and the ILLUSTRATIONS! in this book are fantabulous.
Theatrical Grace celebrates and seeks out adventure and journeys of the imagination — I love that in this character.
When she doubts herself and is criticized, it’s wonderful to see her bloom again after encouragement and move forward with determination.
It’s also a great story of fairness, “putting your mind to it,” and supportive family (who are women).
Lovely and goosebump-inducing. Be inspired by Grace to follow your dreams! (:
This little girl character is full of color and life, but has real struggles too.
(c) 1991 by Mary Hoffman, Caroline Binch
This is the first post in a series celebrating my favorite girl characters in books.
In these reviews I’ll try not to spoil the story for you, but at the same time I’ll attempt to give a few reasons why this character is stellar and I like her.
I’ll plan on alternating classic books with contemporary ones.
I love Claudia. She’s unhappy and does something about it in her own inimitable way.
This is the first sentence of From the Mixed Up Files….
“Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away. That is, running away in the heat of anger with a knapsack on her back. She didn’t like discomfort; even picnics were untidy and inconvenient: all those insects and the sun melting the icing on the cupcakes.”
Isn’t that sweet! In the 80’s expression way. 🙂
Claudia is deliberate and likes comfort. She plans very carefully. She likes to think scientifically.
But then later in the book she has an urge that to me reveals her desire to learn things and be taught things, instead of always being the one to know and teach and run the show. Her sensitive side comes to the surface. How, why, and to what she’s sensitive is revealing.
Her relationship with her younger brother evolves throughout the book. He’s a mathematical, matter-of-fact sort but also a bit more laid back in some ways. They grow and change together, and in some ways because of each other.
There are many girls (and people) like this all over the world.
We can all relate to making plans and having life change them for us. We have times when we’ve found satisfaction or adventure in a place we didn’t think it existed.
This character and this book are timeless and enjoyable because of Claudia’s brave stubbornness along with at the same time vulnerability, and her ability to learn from others. The story gave her a chance to explore and with determination solve a mystery while finding out more about herself.
(c) 1967 by E.L. Konigsburg
To: All architects and folks with actual experience in construction, please excuse any inaccuracies ~ although I think the gist of the very similar process is here!
For more than a year, I’ve been writing a book. Here is my attempt to try to describe some of the process. An experience which has been and continues to be (I have some trouble with verb-tense in this post and that is very representative!) a succession of exhilarating swoops down the mountain after almost vertical upward learning curves.
- BLUEPRINTS – sketching things out, playing with ideas
I began with the idea for one character. Then I pictured one certain scene, and wrote it. Then I wrote whatever else next came to me, when I had my “butt in the chair,” sometimes even closing my eyes. It was equal parts exhilarating, and scary as hell. I assigned myself 300 words a day. And I kept on going almost every day with that (there were more words some days) until I felt I was done. (Prepare yourselves for what’s next.)
Next I mistakenly sent off a query to an editor I’d met at a conference. Only a couple of weeks later, I was drastically embarrassed and chagrined to discover on my own that the story wasn’t even close to ready. Agh. (I actually sent him an email saying as much. I didn’t mean to waste his time – it was a beginner mistake. –> Making a mistake means you’re doing something. So, I carried on…)
At this stage if you want to in the writing (and to just to “get ‘er done”) you can have a three-story house, with the bathroom set alone on the top floor. Sure, it doesn’t make sense and it’s not convenient, but it’s there. Later, in stage 4 you can make adjustments. Ha.
2. PREPARING THE GROUND
I read and read and read and read — craft books, aka: books on writing and how to write; went to an SCBWI workshop; read lots of other novels in my genre. I was still writing at the same time myself, and thrashing around with figuring out characters and the action.
3. LAYING THE FOUNDATION
I got connected with a few critique partners and we began exchanging pages. I went through a dark night of the soul, becoming very frustrated and wanting to rip the whole thing up. I was incensed & despairing that it seemed, “Nothing happened!!” in the collection of pages.
After some excellent feedback, I had a breakthrough when one online critique partner figuratively pointed at me and said, “Your timeline is a mess. Start HERE.” I thought about it briefly, the comments rang true, and I did just that. Figuring out where to start seemed to make the rest of the story’s structure fall into place. There was still a lot of work to do, but I was able to push from beginning to end.
Things began to come together. Once I knew my beginning and pushed myself to continue through to the end from there, cutting and pasting from already-written scenes, revising as I went from start to finish, it was easier to flow forward.
I can feel it coming together, which is much better than the aforementioned feeling of extreme aggravation. But I also have another feeling: there is a lot still to do, still looming, after I “finish” this stage. I suspect that after I get to the very, very end, I don’t know how many more passes through I’ll need to do — to add layers, sensory detail, double-check character arcs, etc.
7. INTERIOR DESIGN
Could this be the final stage? Adding beauty & window-dressing, in the established but empty house?
[Yes, I realize that if in fact, I get to the stage where I think it’s ready, and I’ve done all I can (with the help of others … beta readers, here I come! 🙂 ~ that just begins another process of revision. Maybe that could compare to the home inspector coming through? And the realtor?]
—> Oh, to create a house that can possibly become a home.
…A book, that can become a refuge — a place where dreams can sprout, and even fly…
“Originality is a by-product of sincerity.” — poet, Marianne Moore, 1887-1972 in Paris Review interview
I think what’s happening now is the process of interior architecture. I knew someone once who designed displays for the INSIDE of the National Gallery of Art who was a trained architect. Something like that is what’s happening now with my piece I think. So, the work continues…