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3.7 69
by Raina Telgemeier

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Raina Telgemeier, the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of the Eisner Award winner, SMILE, brings us her next full-color graphic novel . . . DRAMA!

Callie loves theater. 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


Raina Telgemeier, the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of the Eisner Award winner, SMILE, brings us her next full-color graphic novel . . . DRAMA!

Callie loves theater. 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 occurs 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!

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
From award winner Telgemeier (Smile, 2010), a pitch-perfect graphic novel portrayal of a middle school musical, adroitly capturing the drama both on and offstage. Seventh-grader Callie Marin is over-the-moon to be on stage crew again this year for Eucalyptus Middle School's production of Moon over Mississippi. Callie's just getting over popular baseball jock and eighth-grader Greg, who crushed her when he left Callie to return to his girlfriend, Bonnie, the stuck-up star of the play. Callie's healing heart is quickly captured by Justin and Jesse Mendocino, the two very cute twins who are working on the play with her. Equally determined to make the best sets possible with a shoestring budget and to get one of the Mendocino boys to notice her, the immensely likable Callie will find this to be an extremely drama-filled experience indeed. The palpably engaging and whip-smart characterization ensures that the charisma and camaraderie run high among those working on the production. When Greg snubs Callie in the halls and misses her reference to Guys and Dolls, one of her friends assuredly tells her, "Don't worry, Cal. We're the cool kids….He's the dork." With the clear, stylish art, the strongly appealing characters and just the right pinch of drama, this book will undoubtedly make readers stand up and cheer. Brava! (Graphic fiction. 10-14)
The New York Times Book Review
Telgemeier's work is part of a boom in smart, wholesome comics for young people, but unlike most next-level graphic novels for this age range…Telgemeier offers familiar home and school situations rather than fantastical cow races and walking houses. In her stories, relatable girls make the first move, add and shed friends according to a niceness-ocracy, and roll with setbacks…The Horatio Alger of graphic novelists, Telgemeier draws up-by-their-book-bags characters who value hard work and seize a chance that has nothing to do with looks or even with love. While capable of boy craziness, they concentrate on friendship and creative fulfillment. The better Telgemeier's books sell, the less hand-wringing to do over the next generation. If this is what the youth of America are into, the kids are all right.
—Ada Calhoun
Publishers Weekly
Seventh-grader Callie has been in love with the stage ever since she saw Les Miz when she was younger. Since her singing skills leave much to be desired, she’s forged a place for herself at the drama club as the set decorator. While her love for the stage is clear, which boy she loves is a different matter. Is it Greg, the handsome eighth-grade jock who trifled with her while on a break from his diva girlfriend, Bonnie? Or Justin, the cute boy who is playing the comic relief in the middle school production of Moon over Mississippi?—who happens to be gay. Or what about his twin brother, Jesse, who isn’t gay and is helping Callie with set decorating? The author follows up her award-winning graphic novel Smile with another dead-on look at the confusing world of middle school, sweetly capturing all the drama swirling around the school production: from jealousies and misunderstandings to the last-minute surprise stage substitution that may not make a star, but helps settle who likes who. Telgemeier’s manga-infused art has some moments of heartache, but the generally cheerful and affirming story should be eagerly devoured by her many fans. Ages 10-14. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

* "Another dead-on look at the confusing world of middle school." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

• "With the clear, stylish art, the strongly appealing characters and just the right pinch of drama, this book will undoubtedly make readers stand up and cheer. Brava!" -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

• "Telgemeier is prodigiously talented at telling cheerful stories with realistic portrayals of middle-school characters." -- Booklist, starred review

• "The full-color cartoon-style illustrations are graceful, assured, and, along with the twists and turns of the plot, guarantee an entertaining and enlightening read." -- School Library Journal, starred review


VOYA - Marla Unruh
Excited drama students eagerly volunteer for stage crew slots in their middle school's musical. Among them, Callie is thrilled to be designing the sets. She has already read the play and is planning her magnum opus, a pretend cannon that really fires a burst of confetti with a loud boom. Making it work turns out to be quite a challenge right up to the last minute. She puts her unrequited crush on Greg out of the way and delves into her set-building. She's not the only one struggling with love issues. Other hard-working members of the crew and cast wonder if they will have partners for the eighth-grade formal. Then last-minute crises threaten to sink the production and they must call on their strengths to save the play. Charmingly told, this novel in words and pictures draws the reader in. Text and graphics complement each other well—both are essential to the story—and the characters ring true. Although the production they mount seems a bit elaborate for middle school, the challenges they face are realistic: dealing with budget, costumes that do not fit, a male lead who gets sick, a female lead who is dumped by her boyfriend right before the last performance. This reviewer was a little surprised at how affecting a graphic novel can be, but middle school readers and young teens will not be surprised at all. Reviewer: Marla Unruh
Children's Literature - Toni Jourdan
Callie is a seventh grade theatre geek. She eats, sleeps, breathes the theatre and has found a welcome home in Eucalyptus Middle School's drama department. Her forte is stagecraft, since her singing is a bit squeaky. She doesn't care, just so long as she is planting her thespian roots. Enter Greg, Callie's crush. She mistakes his attention for "romantic attention" and pursues him even though he has started avoiding her. She doesn't have a ton of free time to worry about this because her middle school's musical production has been announced, Moon over Mississippi. All her attention turns to creating Broadway style sets, as well as a working cannon. Well, most of her attention, because Justin and Jesse, twin hotties have joined the cast and crew and both have befriended Callie. Now she doesn't know who she likes, plus, it seems like one or both of them may have crushes elsewhere. Drama is filled with drama and illustrated like a graphic play complete with overtures, intermissions and final curtains. If you love the theatre you will love this homage to everything theatrical. I especially enjoyed the behind the scenes moments that are ever present when putting a play together. All the characters that you might find in and around a play are represented from Loren, the stage manager, and Liz, the costumer/Callie's best friend, to Matt, the spotlight operator and Bonnie, Greg's ex-girlfriend who gets the lead role of Maybelle and is a constant clunker note in Callie's day to day production. The illustrations are perfect and absorb and represent every moment that goes into a production. Bravo! Reviewer: Toni Jourdan
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Callie has ambitious plans for her school's production of Moon Over Mississippi. She has more to contend with than the logistics of building a working stage cannon, though, including the tension between stage crew and actors and her confusion about her new friend, Jesse. Does he like her, or is he gay like his twin brother? Telgemeier deftly portrays the ambiguity of sexual identity in the middle-school years in a story that simultaneously appeals to that audience. Callie is a strong character, confident in her ability as an artist and warm and friendly to her peers. She and her fellow students grin frequently, to the point of seeming unrealistically well adjusted. More often, however, Telgemeier is just showing the best side of teens. "Keep it professional," the stage crew head tells the group, and they do. The full-color cartoon-style illustrations are graceful, assured, and, along with the twists and turns of the plot, guarantee an entertaining and enlightening read.—Lisa Goldstein, Brooklyn Public Library, NY

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)
GN400L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Raina Telgemeier grew up in San Francisco, then moved to New York City, where she earned an illustration degree at the School of Visual Arts. Her most recent title, SMILE, a critically acclaimed graphic memoir based on her childhood, was a NEW YORK TIMES bestseller and winner of the Will Eisner Award for Best Publication for Teens, and received a BOSTON GLOBE-HORN BOOK Honor. Raina also adapted and illustrated The Baby-sitters Club graphic novels, which were selected for YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens list and BOOKLIST’s Top 10 Graphic Novels for Youth list. Raina lives in Astoria, New York, with her husband and fellow comics artist, Dave Roman. To learn more, visit her online at www.goRaina.com.

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Drama 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 69 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Drama was AMAZING! I love it! But if you arent 10 and up to me you cant read this book. Little spoiler alert there is Crush drama amd gay boys. I will really recommend it to 10 yrs and up. This book is amazing! Read it and you will love it. I'm serious! This is by the best author ever, Raina Telgemeier.
YSlibrarianIL More than 1 year ago
Thanks Raina for making some accessible realistic fiction in Graphic Novel format. Middle Schoolers are loving your Caudill nominated book SMILE and will love this one too! Great job representing and entertaining young readers!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVE this book u will like it too, I love it,it goes through a middle schooler's life and her crushes and well her DRAMA which is even the title of the book. I highly reccomend this book it is one of my favorites by this author!!!
2cat007 More than 1 year ago
This book was great I don't care if they had 2 gay boys in it (people need to stop being homophobics)! It wasn't even centered around the two boys anyway. This book is about the art of theater!! But I do think the book should've been put down a book for teens instead of a book for kids but oh well. This book was a great look into what the theater is like behind the scenes. I recommend it as a great book for older kids.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you read Smile, then you're going to love Drama. I read this and have recommended it to my 5th grade students. They can't wait to read it and love it when they are done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book to death!! It is honestly one of my favorite books next to Smile. I love the characters, and the amazing storyline! It breaks my heart to see all the bad ratings because there are homosexual characters in it. Why are you hiding this fact of life from children? It isnt hurting them. You need to stop being scared of it. Anyways, I would love to see more stories from her, and will always look forward to them!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I totally love this book and recommend it to any pre-teen or teen girl. A beautiful graphic novel that is about a girl's crazy dramatic life. A must-have book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this story! The characters, the art, the theater... So good! Thank you!
Sparky-Aero-Cade More than 1 year ago
Okay, I'm not saying that making a gay boy in this book was right, but you don't have to be so focused on one of the side actors that you absolutely just hate the book and don't want to read it. I love the book! II mean yes, Raina probably shouldn't have put a gay person in a children's book, but aside from that, this book is amazing! Besides, it never actually shows him acting gay, I don't think. It's not like this book is totally inapppropriate just because it mentions one of the characters being gay. I love this book and would definetly recommend it to reader's everywhere :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this book. Lots of fun!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this is a great book. only thing is, i wouldnt reccomend it to kids who are younger than 11. at least. it could be innapropriate at some points but i love the whole idea of this book, and the whole point this is a really good book. -to be 8th grader(3 more months) alicia<3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It may have had gay kids in it but it did not have inappropriate scenes and it was just mild. Overall i loved the book it was a nice mixture of comedy and seriousness I only wish it was longer because it broke my heart when i finished it in 1 hour. ???
Anonymous 3 months ago
Drama is of the charts!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a rilly good book for all ages.The whole family will love this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So far I have been reading this book and I love there is so much drama but thats what makes it great I love the drawings and I just totally love this book - 11 year old girl
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books i have read yet! I recomind this book to you because if you like books about love. This book is perfect for you!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book! When I have free time, I scan back through the book and look at the pictures and dialogue. I was surprised how the end turned out but it was amazing! Btw, her best friend, is awesome!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the books by Raina Telgemier! I have read all three books, and recommend them all!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nothing on the back book jacket discusses the homosexual plot line of the book. It's up to the parent when they discuss sexuality with their child. Not because a 3rd grader picks this book up during the scholastic book fair at their school and thinks it had a neat cover. Then they read it and go home and ask mom and dad what being gay means. If you want to write a children's book with gay characters, fine. But be upfront about it on the jacket description so parents can decide if their child is ready for that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book butt I think smile is way better.
Anonymous 6 months ago