We read a graphic novel for our 13th book club! We experimented with This One Summer by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki and enjoyed it, but weren’t blown away. So we’re picking some other graphic novels that might just do that. We’ll be recommending two other books for you, one other YA book and one that is for adults and we’ll have some discussion questions near the end to use for your own book club.
Our YA recommendation is a memoir about summer camp. Maggie Thrash has spent basically every summer of her fifteen-year-old life at the one-hundred-year-old Camp Bellflower for Girls, set deep in the heart of Appalachia. She’s from Atlanta, she’s never kissed a guy, she’s into Backstreet Boys in a really deep way, and her long summer days are full of a pleasant, peaceful nothing . . . until one confounding moment. A split-second of innocent physical contact pulls Maggie into a gut-twisting love for an older, wiser, and most surprising of all (at least to Maggie), female counselor named Erin. But Camp Bellflower is an impossible place for a girl to fall in love with another girl, and Maggie’s savant-like proficiency at the camp’s rifle range is the only thing keeping her heart from exploding. When it seems as if Erin maybe feels the same way about Maggie, it’s too much for both Maggie and Camp Bellflower to handle, let alone to understand.
Our somewhat more adult recommendation is Ghost World, a graphic novel about friendship, growing up and growing apart. This might just be what is in store for Rose and Windy… Ghost world follows the adventures of two teenage girls, Enid and Becky, two best friends facing the prospect of growing up, and more importantly, apart. Both are naturalistic and nostalgic for the way things used to be in their lives. In “Ghost World”, Clowes carves out a layered narrative out of the daily existence of these two girls and in the process, turns them into fully-realized young women.
Possible Discussion Questions:
– How do you see Windy and Rose grow together and/or apart?
– Why is Rose so quick to judge the other girls by calling them sluts for example?
– What differences are shown between ‘real’ adulthood and what Windy & Rose think is adulthood?