Publishing Information: New York: Graphix, 2012
Pages: 233 p.
Annotation: With budding relationships everywhere, Callie rides an emotional roller coaster while serving on the stage crew for a middle school theater production.
Summary: Callie loves the theater but lacks singing talent. That won’t keep her from the stage, though. As the set designer for her school production of Moon Over Mississippi, she’s determined to set a new standard for props by building a cannon that shoots confetti and streamers. Easier said than done. In the meantime, crushes, misunderstandings, and lots of confusion threaten to distract her from her work. Will her own story end with a kiss, or something else?
Book Talk: PLACES EVERYONE!Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can't really sing. Instead she's the set designer for the drama department 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! (from Raina Telgemeier’s website)
Subject Headings & Major Themes: Theater
Awards & Reviews:
A Stonewall Honor Book, 2013
Harvey Award Nominee, 2013
NPR: 5 Great Summer Reads for Teens
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2012
A Washington Post Best Book of 2012
New York Times Editors’ Choice
Booklist Editors’ Choice
NPR: Graphic Novels that Flew Under the Radar
New York Public Library’s 100 Titles For Reading and Sharing
School Library Journal Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2012
New York Times Book Review, September 2, 2012, p. 22
Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2012
Publishers Weekly, June 4, 2012, p. 55
School Library Journal, November 2012, p. 129
Discussion Questions and Ideas:
Callie loves the theater but realizes early that she doesn’t have the natural talent for a place onstage. Would you be satisfied with not being the star? How does Callie take her passion to the next level?
How does Callie build her theater knowledge over time? Note she isn’t glued to the Internet--what other sources does she use?
How do some of the stars/more popular kids try to make Callie and her friends feel “less than”? How does her group defend and protect themselves?
Jesse gives Callie mixed signals about his feelings toward her. Which actions make her think he likes her as a girlfriend and which makes her think he likes her as a friend? Why do you think Jesse does this?
In many comic books and cartoons, female characters are drawn in a certain way (think of female superheroes and Disney princesses, for example). How does Telgemeier draw her female characters, particularly Callie?
At the dance, Callie is mad at Jesse for ditching her and Liz is mad at Callie for the same reason. Are they both justified in their anger? How do they resolve it?
Justin and Jesse’s father only briefly appears, but how does that scene emphasize the difference in the twins’ personalities?
Was Callie right to turn Greg down when he asked her out? Why did she refuse him?
While Callie doesn’t get the guy, she does seem to get a happy ending. How is she rewarded? Were you satisfied by the ending?
“Moon Over Mississippi” isn’t a real show. Why do you think Telgemeier decided to make one up instead of using something like “Phantom of the Opera” or “Oklahoma!”?
Compare how a book is usually structured and how a play is usually structured. What techniques does Telgemeier use to blur the lines between the two in Drama?
Many graphic novels are strictly in black and white, but not Drama. How does the addition of color impact the way you viewed the book?
Like Callie and her friends, graphic novels are sometimes treated as “less than”. What are some of the serious themes in Drama and how does the graphic novel format impact the way they are presented? Where does the art enhance the story and where does it detract from the story?
Manga (traditional Japanese graphic novels) has its own visual vocabulary. For example, if a character appears with a cat mouth it means they’re up to something, and a character with big eyes is usually sweet and good. Western graphic novelists often borrow from the manga tradition and have some traditions of their own. What sort of artistic devices does Telgemeier use to communicate her characters’ feelings?
Author's Website - http://goraina.com/
What Are Manga and Anime? - http://www.mit.edu/~rei/Expl.html
Manga Iconography -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manga_iconography
Graphic novels for teens - http://www.ipl.org/div/graphicnovels/
Will & Whit by Laura Lee Gulledge, 2013
Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks, 2012
Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol, 2011
Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch, 2010
Chiggers by Hope Larson, 2008
Yotsuba! by Kiyohiko Azuma, 2005
The Greatest of Marlys by Lynda Barry, 2000
Better Nate than Ever by Tim Federle, 2013
The Trouble with Flirting by Claire LeZebnik, 2013
Starring Arabelle by Hillary Hall De Baun, 2012
Tracing Stars by Erin Moulton, 2012
My Life, the Theater, and Other Tragedies by Allen Zadoff, 2011
Here’s How I See It: Here’s How It Is by Heather Henson, 2009
Saving Juliet by Suzanne Selfors, 2008
The Sweet, Terrible, Glorious Year I Truly, Completely Lost It by Lisa Shanahan, 2007
Theatrical Design and Production by J. Michael Gillette, 2013
Fundamentals of Theatrical Design by Karen Brewster, 2011
Broadway: The American Musical by Laurence Maslon, 2010
Cool Special Effects: How to Stage Your Very Own Show by Karen Latchana Kenney, 2010
Stage Crafts by Chris Hoggett, 2001
Create Your Own Stage Effects by Gill Davies, 1999
Other Books by the Author:
Sisters (Smile #2), expected 2014
X-Men: Misfits, with Dave Roman, Anzu, 2009
The Baby-Sitters Club: Claudia and Mean Janine, with Ann M. Martin, 2008
The Baby-Sitters Club: Mary Anne Saves the Day, with Ann M. Martin, 2007
The Baby-Sitters Club: The Truth about Stacey, with Ann M. Martin, 2006
The Baby-Sitters Club: Kristy’s Great Idea, with Ann M. Martin, 2006
Agnes Quill: An Anthology of Mystery, with Dave Roman, Jeff Zornow, Jason Ho, 2006
About the Author:
Raina Telgemeier is the author and illustrator of the graphic novels Smile and Drama, both #1 New York Times bestsellers. She also adapted and illustrated four graphic novel versions of Ann M. Martin's Baby-sitters Club series, and has contributed short stories to many anthologies. Raina's accolades include an Eisner Award, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, a Stonewall Honor, and many Best Of and Notable lists. Raina lives and works in Queens, NY, with her cartoonist husband, Dave Roman.