While I know I will never catch up, some days lend themselves to at least making the stacks less threatening to the living creatures in the house (hint: Scout thinks stacks of books are a CHALLENGE). Yesterday, in addition to running all sorts of errands, I managed to squeeze in three books. And when I was done I realized once again the incredible range that is YA lit. I read a graphic novel, a story collection, and a novel in verse. Interesting at the end of the day to see this diversity and realize that it does not always register how rich the field is.
SKIM by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki is the story of a mixed race teen named Kim (some call her Skm because she is not). Kim is wrestling with all sorts of the usual teen "stuff." Her parents are divorced; her best friend seems to be changing and moving away from her; and she may be falling in love with her teacher, Ms. Archer.
Here encapsulated in this GN is what makes this format so incredibly fascinating to me and appealing to readers. The text is so spare that you have to literally read between the lines. That is facilitated by the illustrations which go beyond illuminating to elaborating the text itself. When I introduce this concept of illustration in my classes, I generally do so with WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE. Sendak can use a simple line to develop character. The same is true, I think, with Skim. Characterization is done simply, and moods are conveyed sometimes with that same simple line. While I am by no means well read in this area of YAL, I do find it compelling and puzzling and fertile.