Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday
Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday is hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and was started to help promote the reading of nonfiction texts. Most Wednesdays, we will be participating and will review a nonfiction text (though it may not always be a picture book).
Be sure to visit Kid Lit Frenzy and see what other nonfiction books are shared this week!
Author and Illustrator: Maggie Thrash
Published September 8th, 2015 by Candlewick Press
Goodreads Summary: All-girl camp. First love. First heartbreak. At once romantic and devastating, brutally honest and full of humor, this graphic-novel memoir is a debut of the rarest sort.
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.
My Review and Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This book is a book of truth. Maggie has put her heart and soul onto paper and shared it with all of us. I adored the honesty of her story and the slow unraveling and realization of her feelings for Erin. The romance in this felt so much more real (well, it is real!) than other YA books out there. Maggie’s feelings over this specific summer will resonate with so many readers because it is how real people fall in love and/or confirm their sexuality. I also was surprised that I liked the art. At first I found it hard to follow, but then it felt just as real as the story. This is a book that will be important to many readers out there, so it needs to be available to teens.
Discussion Questions: How hard did you think it was for Maggie to feel so opposite of what was expected of her by the camp and her parents?; Why do you think that Erin and Maggie’s relationship didn’t work out? Were you surprised that they were so uncomfortable when they reconnected a year later?; How did Maggie’s friends play a role in how she felt at camp?
Read This If You Loved: Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg, Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan, Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
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