192 pages; published May 2011
Paige Turner has just moved from Virginia to New York. A bit lost and lonely, she pours her feelings and innermost thoughts into a new sketchbook, and ends up creating a record of her discovery of friendship, first love, and a new confidence in herself.
Paige Turner (hey – her parents are writers) spends a lot of time in her own head. It’s not easy for her to speak up or say what she really means or make new friends. After a move from Virginia to New York City, she’s pretty lost until she decides to take some advice left behind by her grandmother. Rule #1 is – “No more excuses! Buy a sketchbook and draw a few pages each week.” It’s not easy at first, but she draws – she draws how it feels to be surrounded by two-dimensional people in a new city, how the inside of her head is different that what people see, and how sometimes her head gets cluttered with thoughts and she feels like she needs to shake them out like a salt shaker. As she follows the other rules … “Draw what you know” … “Listen to what’s going on in your head” … “Let yourself fail” … “Figure out what scares you and do it” … she connects with new friends, finds love, and releases a bold, creative, playful side of herself for everyone to enjoy.
The drawings are absolutely striking and express so much emotion. The experience is really lovely. Here are some examples in the YouTube book trailer:
Cybils Award Nominee for Graphic Novels (Young Adult) (2011); ALA Teens’ Top Ten Nominee (2012); YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens (2012); Texas Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List for Grades 6-12 (2012); Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominee for Best Lettering (2012)