Friday, September 2, 2011
THE POPULARITY PAPERS by Amy Ignatow
Okay, so technically, the blog series I hosted with Jon is over. But I read Amy Ignatow's Popularity Papers based on a recommendation by Kate Messner. And guess what? I found gay parents in a middle grade book. Not an issues book. But a regular old graphic-type novel. Just there. Adding to the fabric of the story. Adding to one of the character's, well, character.
Lydia Goldblatt and Julie Graham-Chang are best friends with one goal: to crack the code of popularity. Lydia’s the bold one: aspiring theater star, stick-fighting enthusiast, human guinea pig. Julie’s the shy one: observer and artist, accidental field hockey star, faithful recorder. In this notebook they write down their observations and carry out experiments to try to determine what makes the popular girls tick. But somehow, when Lydia and Julie try to imitate the popular girls, their efforts don’t translate into instant popularity. Lydia ends up with a bald spot, their parents won’t stop yelling, and Julie finds herself the number-one crush of Roland Asbjørnsen. Worse, they seem to be drifting farther and farther from their goal—and each other.
Amy Ignatow’s hilarious debut novel introduces the intrepid fifth-graders Julie and Lydia, whose quest to understand popularity may not succeed in the ways they want, but will succeed in keeping readers in stitches.
You might notice, gay parents aren't even mentioned in the blurb. Huh. Isn't that awesome? It's a great book--my eight-year-old is reading it as I type this. True, real life characters, awesome art and graphically cool, and a very fast read. There are also two sequels which I haven't yet read.
You can read more about Amy Ignatow at www.amyignatow.com.