Drama by Raina Telgemeier is a middle-grade graphic novel published by Scholastic. It is a charming and sometimes bitterly realistic story of the middle school drama that occurs at the age when kids start to develop romantic feelings.
Drama includes all the different "types" of kids who can be found at every school (popular kids, mean kids, geeky kids, average kids, outgoing kids, shy kids, etc.) Raina's characters are realistic and very identifiable to readers. Moreover, they are all smart and each have something special to offer the world. This book teaches readers that the drama that people cause because of our differences isn't worth anyone's time. It shows us how the drama can get in the way of being happy, of being one's self, and of putting on an amazing play!
Summary: Callie loves theatre. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi, she's a terrible singer. Instead she's the set designer for the stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn't know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that comes once the actors are chosen, and when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier! Following the success of Smile, Raina Telgemeier brings us another graphic novel featuring a diverse set of characters that humorously explores friendship, crushes, and all-around drama!
Drama has gotten some controversial attention because it explores homosexual feelings and relationships. One of the characters is openly gay, with another who isn't quite ready to share his sexual orientation with others. To these ignorant and archaic people who rip this book from the hands of their kids, I roll my eyes and say it's 2014! Equality and inclusivity for all! It's so important that we teach children to be open and accepting of others, and not pass on hatred and fear to the next generation.
I LOVE that while the characters' sexual orientation plays a major role in the story, it isn't an all-defining, single character trait. We are so much MORE than the colour of our skin, our gender and our sexual orientation. And in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter. We're all humans and we should be accepting.
Sweet, funny, and down-to-earth, Raina Telgemeier is an amazing YA author. I adore Drama and her other graphic novel, Smile (click HERE for my review). Readers can recognize these characters and can reflect on the drama they have going in their own schools and in their own lives. We see how drama is only temporary, and that it's easier to move on rather than cling to the problem. Ultimately, this book shares important messages about acceptance and about establishing healthy relationships with others, regardless of our differences.
Drama is an incredibly inspiring and entirely wonderful book!