This teen graphic novel was AMAZING. I read it in one giant gulp in my hotel room (yeah, I read a HUGE stack of books in my hotel room!) at ALA, then I made my sister read the one she had picked up. Then, since neither of us was willing to give up our copy, I had to go get a third for my friend Sara-the-librarian.
Paige Turner and her parents have just moved to New York. She feels lonely and disconnected and…just generally unhappy. But she decides that in a new city she’ll have a chance to be a new person – and work on her art. Slowly, Paige makes friends and starts to form her identity as an artist.
It sounds really simple, but there’s so much more in this story. It’s about creativity, going from drawing and writing to “artist” and “author”. It’s about friendship and growing up and trying to make new relationships with your parents as an almost-adult. It’s about relationships and maturity and celebrating art and life in the city.
The art is so…good. It’s not fancy or complex, but it has weight. You turn a page and suddenly an image smacks you in the eyes and you think “I remember EXACTLY how that felt!” I really loved that the art looked like something a teen (with a lot of hard work and talent) could copy or create. It’s completely professional, but at the same time it’s a real teen’s sketchbook. Teens will completely connect to Paige and her friends whether or not they aspire to artistic careers as Paige goes through all the self-doubt and angst of a normal teen trying to decide how to relate to the world and other people.
Verdict: So, so, so good. Amazing art, strong text, this is a must have for your teen collection. If you don’t have a teen gn collection, sneak it into the fiction. Highly recommended.
ISBN: 978-810997219; Published May 2011 by Amulet; ARC provided by publisher at ALA Midwinter 2011; Purchased for the library