Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Popularity Papers by Amy Ignatow

Lydia and Julie are two girls in Grade 5 doing "Research for the Social Improvement and General Betterment of Lydia Goldblatt & Julie Graham-Chang" - which is the subtitle of their joint secret writing project. Julie illustrates the book and they both write down their observations of the popular girls at school. It's not really a graphic novel, but it does have a lot of pictures. It's definitely a hoot.

The girls come up with plenty of harebrained schemes that backfire, like their plan to get their parents to change their minds and allow them to have cell phones. End result is that one of Julie's two dads gives her his really old cell phone. It has a screen that doesn't work, the numbers on the buttons have been rubbed off, the antenna is chewed up by their cat (named "Bad Cat") and the whole thing is held together by duct tape. Lydia's mother gets her "The ladybug: a cell phone for children! It's horrible! It looks like I'm talking into a big plastic bug! I might as well come to school wearing diapers!"

I loved that Julie's parents - Daddy and Papa Dad - are a fact of life; it's no big deal that they are gay. They love her, support her, scold her and embarrass her, just like other parents in the book. Lydia and Julie are memorable characters that will endear themselves to readers in Grade 4 and up who enjoy funny stories about friendship, school and families.

No comments: