Author: Copeland, Cynthia L.
Author and artist Cindy Copeland comes of age, discovers new talents, and finds her voice as a cub reporter at her local newspaper during the Watergate era. In graphic novel format.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 3.30
Points: 2.0 Quiz: 507112
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 11/01/2019 Gr 4–7—In this wholesome graphic memoir, Copeland recounts the ups and downs of middle school life in the early 1970s. Twelve-year-old aspiring writer Cindy always had trouble fitting in at school, but she cracked the code to the wild kingdom of Litchfield Junior High School: avoid the attention of the mean girl clique (aka the predators) by acting boring and "playing dead." After her teacher Ms. Shultz sets her up with an internship with the Torrington Register, Cindy spent seventh grade shadowing local reporter Leslie Jacobs. As the year unfolded, Cindy developed her skills as a cub reporter and thrived in the face of evolving friendship worries. Eye-catching design elements such as copyedited article rough drafts and comics panels that look like snapshots make Copeland's experiences especially absorbing. Subplots involving bullying and first crushes are blander but still relatable, and the jungle analogies will ring true with readers who are navigating similar middle school drama. While the narrative will empower many readers, dated, cartoonish illustrations that are more appropriate for a picture book limit the emotional impact. VERDICT Hand this to tweens and teens who want a gentle read about growing up. For large graphic novel collections.—Pearl Derlaga, York County Public Library, VA - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 01/01/2020 Seventh grade is a struggle for just about everyone, and while Copeland had her fair share of middle-school angst, it was also the year she became a bona fide writer. An internship with a local reporter (one of few women in the field) allowed Copeland to hone her journalistic skills, and she flourished as a result, giving her the self-confidence to deal with everything from school bullies to misguided first attempts at dating. This positive and empowering graphic memoir is drawn in a simple, appealing cartoony style that reflects the straightforward narrative arc. Backgrounds and settings are minimal, allowing the reader to focus on the emotional heart of Copeland’s story without distraction. Some details, such as early 1970’s pop-culture references, may not resonate with today’s middle-schoolers, but Copeland’s experiences, such as her drive for validation from her father and the constantly shifting alliances among friends, certainly will. With a gentle tone and absence of any real trauma, this will appeal to fans of Svetlana Chmakova’s Berrybrook Middle School series and similar titles. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.