For the past couple of years we have seen graphic novels come into their own. Certainly the awarding of the 2007 Printz to AMERICAN BORN CHINESE signaled that what was once considered to be sort of a niche is now making headway into the mainstream. BREAKING UP proves that GNs can also appeal to female readers. Like QUEEN BEE, this new GN focuses on being popular, finding love, and maintaining friendships. Fashion High (or Georgia O'Keefe High School) is full of poseurs, I mean people, all of whom want to be popular. MacKenzie, Chloe, Erika, and Isabel have all been friends for forever. However, this is the year that things will change. MacKenzie will steal someone else's boyfriend, Chloe will fall for a guy deemed a geek by her friends. Lots of changes are in store. GN format tells the tale of finding one's place in the world of high school with minimal words and black and white illustrations. It is sure to appeak to kids who like Clugston's QUEEN BEE.
On a personal note, I love GNs as I can pick them up and read them quickly. Perhaps it is the effect of all those years of reading the comics first in the Sunday paper? I know one of our LJ friends is working on a professional book about GNs and their counterparts. Seems a great time to tell everyone working with kids, especially reluctant readers, about the power of words accompanied by pictures.