by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

In this slice-of-life graphic novel, high school student Kimberly Keiko Cameron (nicknamed... read more

In this slice-of-life graphic novel, high school student Kimberly Keiko Cameron (nicknamed Skim) is a Wicca in training who feels out of place in the Catholic girls’ school she attends (“my school = goldfish tank of stupid”). Her teachers and classmates are all aflutter because the ex-boyfriend of one of the students, Katie, has committed suicide. When Katie shows up a few days later with two broken arms, the rumor circulates that she jumped off a roof in a suicide attempt of her own. The school goes into overdrive with special counseling sessions, a gigantic collage sympathy card for Katie, and the establishment of a new club, Girls Celebrate Life (GCL). Skim is one of the students marked for special help because she refuses to participate in these activities, and she seems to be sad and lonely. And she is, but not over the suicide—just in normal adolescent ways: She and her best friend, Lisa, are clearly growing apart, and Skim has a massive crush on Ms. Archer, her English teacher—a crush that is not completely unrequited. After the two of them share a kiss, Ms. Archer begins to put a professional distance between herself and her student, something that makes life even more difficult for Skim. This serio-comic graphic novel featauring a contemporary girl of Japanese descent delves beneath the superficial everyday activities in high school to show the innermost thoughts and feeling of a single outsider student who is struggling to endure it all. (Age 14 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2009

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