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All's Faire in Middle School
Cover of All's Faire in Middle School
All's Faire in Middle School
Calling all Raina Telgemeier fans! The Newbery Honor-winning author of Roller Girl is back with a heartwarming graphic novel about starting middle school, surviving your embarrassing family, and the...
Calling all Raina Telgemeier fans! The Newbery Honor-winning author of Roller Girl is back with a heartwarming graphic novel about starting middle school, surviving your embarrassing family, and the...
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  • Calling all Raina Telgemeier fans! The Newbery Honor-winning author of Roller Girl is back with a heartwarming graphic novel about starting middle school, surviving your embarrassing family, and the Renaissance Faire.

    Eleven-year-old Imogene (Impy) has grown up with two parents working at the Renaissance Faire, and she's eager to begin her own training as a squire. First, though, she'll need to prove her bravery. Luckily Impy has just the quest in mind—she'll go to public school after a life of being homeschooled! But it's not easy to act like a noble knight-in-training in middle school. Impy falls in with a group of girls who seem really nice (until they don't) and starts to be embarrassed of her thrift shop apparel, her family's unusual lifestyle, and their small, messy apartment. Impy has always thought of herself as a heroic knight, but when she does something really mean in order to fit in, she begins to wonder whether she might be more of a dragon after all.
    As she did in Roller Girl, Victoria Jamieson perfectly—and authentically—captures the bittersweetness of middle school life with humor, warmth, and understanding.
 

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Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from July 17, 2017
    Jamieson doesn’t disappoint in her first graphic novel since her Newbery Honor–winning Roller Girl. Imogen Vega’s parents perform at a Renaissance fair in Florida, immersing the family in a world of jousting and archaic language (“Thou qualling toad-spotted clack-dish!”). Imogen has been homeschooled all her life; now, at 11, she’s headed to public school. In her first weeks, she falls victim to the wiles of a mean girl, hurts a girl who might have been a good friend, and throws her younger brother’s treasured stuffed animal into the lake. As Imogen undergoes a period of self-enforced solitude, the extended family of the fair community offers unexpected support. Jamieson’s sturdy artwork (her figures are decidedly unglamorous, as if to offer regular kids reassurance) and sharp dialogue make it easy to care about her characters. Readers will also appreciate the irreverent humor of the fair’s adults: as a treatment for bullies, one recommends “a large quantity of chicken feathers and a few pots of honey.” The fair emphasizes adventure and theater, but its unconventional performers teach Imogen about kindness, too. Ages 9–12. Agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary Management.

  • School Library Journal

    September 1, 2017

    Gr 4-8-Helping her parents with their jobs at the Renaissance Faire is all 11-year-old homeschooler Imogene "Impy" Vega has ever known. While working with her family is fun, she wants to go to middle school and meet kids her own age. Unfortunately, sheltered Impy is ill-equipped for the realities of draconian teachers, frenemies, and boys. Her new challenges begin to wear her down, and she struggles to develop empathy for others, even in the midst of adolescent angst. This utterly charming graphic novel rivals the author's Newbery Award-winning debut title, Roller Girl. Whereas in the earlier book Jamieson subtly incorporated elements of realism (wrinkles, scuffs, and scrapes on the characters), here she has committed to a more unified cartoonlike look, with fewer details and sketchlike lines. The result is a slightly more polished work. Exaggerated character expressions add further to the appeal. This is a lengthy coming-of-age story that weaves in subplots involving Impy's first real friend, her younger brother, and other cast members of the Faire. Tweens seeking a light read with a quick payoff will shy away, but those who enjoy weightier narratives will lose themselves in Jamieson's world and appreciate the realistic life-goes-on conclusion. VERDICT As heartfelt as it is gorgeous, this is a worthy addition to any middle grade graphic novel collection.-Matisse Mozer, County of Los Angeles Public Library

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from August 1, 2017
    A home-schooled squireling sallies forth to public school, where the woods turn out to be treacherous and dragons lie in wait.Imogene Vega has grown up among "faire-mily"; her brown-skinned dad is the resident evil knight at a seasonal Renaissance faire, her lighter-skinned mom is in charge of a gift shop, and other adult friends play various costumed roles. As a freshly minted "squire," she happily charges into new weekend duties helping at jousts, practicing Elizabethan invective ("Thou lumpish reeling-ripe jolt-head!" "Thou loggerheaded rump-fed giglet!"), and keeping younger visitors entertained. But she loses her way when cast among crowds of strangers in sixth grade. Along with getting off on the wrong foot academically, she not only becomes a target of mockery after clumsy efforts to join a clique go humiliatingly awry, but alienates potential friends (and, later, loving parents and adoring little brother too). Amid stabs of regret she wonders whether she's more dragon than knight. In her neatly drawn sequential panels, Newbery honoree Jamieson (Roller Girl, 2015) portrays a diverse cast of expressive, naturally posed figures occupying two equally immersive worlds. In the end Imogene wins the day in both, proving the mettle of her brave, decent heart in finding ways to make better choices and chivalric amends for her misdeeds. Readers will cheer her victories, wince at her stumbles, and likely demand visits to the nearest faire themselves to sample the wares and fun. (Graphic fiction. 10-13)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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    Penguin Young Readers Group
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