Drama GN (TP & HC)
Publisher: Scholastic Graphix
Release Date: September 1, 2012
Price: $23.99 (Hardcover), $10.99 (Trade Paperback)
Creator: Raina Telgemeier
Format: 240 pages, Full-Color, Hardcover & Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-5453-2698-8 (HC);  978-0-5453-2699-5 (TP)
Age Rating: 10-14 per publisher
ICv2 Rating: 4 Stars out of 5
Following the success of her book Smile, Telgemeier has written another graphic novel aimed a tween and middle school girls.  This one covers a wide range, from first crushes to first brushes with creativity to first considerations of sexual identity, all at a level that would work for an innocent Archie reader.
Anyone who is offended by gay characters in Archie will be at least as offended by this story, which is really too bad.  This is a sweet story about believable characters in a funny setting.  There is no sex in the hallways, but there are a couple of goofy situations, including a male character cross-dressing and singing a female part in the musical, in an emergency.  That is done in such a slapstick fashion that it has an I Love Lucy feel to it, rather than being a serious statement on sexuality.  The book is very funny, but in a way that is never mean to the characters or insulting to the reader.
In Drama, Telgemeier has created a central character [Callie] who is easy to identify with and interesting.  What drives the story is her interactions with those revolving around her, as the school attempts a very ambitious dramatic production.  The title refers not only to the drama of theater, but also to the drama of life in middle school, and it’s a drama well worth experiencing.  Also, any young teens who are concerned about gender issues may find it supportive and comforting.
--Nick Smith: Librarian Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.