Drama Book Review

Drama by Raiga Telgemeier

Callie is your regular 7th grade theater junkie, working behind the scenes as a set designer and stage crew on her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi. Even with a limited budget, Callie is determined to create a set worthy of Broadway, complete with a canon that actually fires. If their production is going to succeed though, everyone will have to play a part.

In this second graphic novel for middle graders by Telgemeier tackles the drama world and all that it entails. Callie, with her purple locks and love to work behind the scenes is loveable and loyal. Similar to the autobiographic character that Telgemeier created in Smile, Callie is very much like Raina in a different setting. Being a Drama junkie myself, meaning theater not actual drama, this book felt very close to home.

The trials and tribulations of a 7th grader in the 21st century are not things I am familiar with however. I think this book handled it rather deftly, weaving in middle school crushes, friendships, break-ups, and other societal pressures. Callie has pretty solid self-esteem, but she is as vulnerable as any twelve-year-old.

Of course, as with any good book, there is always a bit of controversy, in Drama it is the topic of homosexuality as Callie becomes good friends with twin brothers, one of whom confesses that he is gay. In my bookstore alone, I have already had two customers complain about this particular aspect of the book as if we have control over whether a book is written or carried within a store, not that I would ever condone censorship of any kind. All that is to say, that those who dislike the image or idea of young adults being attracted to the same sex, they will very much hate this book and all that it represents. For those who encourage such topics, then you will love this one.

Either way, this is a well-done novel and I think it will create much discussion, hopefully of the productive kind.