Intsa Review: Awkward, by Svetlana Chmakova

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This graphic novel is all kinds of cute. Penelope (Peppi) is new in school and finds kindred spirits in the Art Club. When the principal pits the Art Club against the Science Club for the last remaining booth for the Club Fair, the two groups ruthlessly compete for the spot – but then realize that they are much stronger as teammates than as adversaries. Like a junior version of YA graphic novel Page by Paige, Awkward gives the reader a glimpse into the mind of a quiet, artistic introvert. The novel has depth with a solid plot and definite character development, and tween readers will love the laugh-out-loud jokes and cringe-worthy awkward moments. I appreciated the way author Svetlana Chmakova linked art and science, and hope that readers will remember that the two aren’t mutually exclusive. Budding artists will especially love the Meet the Author and Design Gallery features in the back, which show the intricate process of creating a graphic novel. Sure to inspire some very happy graphic novel copycats.

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