All's Faire in Middle School (Kobo eBook)
Calling all Raina Telgemeier fans! The Newbery Honor-winning author of Roller Girl is back with a heartwarming graphic novel about starting middle school, surviving your embarrassing family, and the Renaissance Faire.
Eleven-year-old Imogene (Impy) has grown up with two parents working at the Renaissance Faire, and she's eager to begin her own training as a squire. First, though, she'll need to prove her bravery. Luckily Impy has just the quest in mind—she'll go to public school after a life of being homeschooled! But it's not easy to act like a noble knight-in-training in middle school. Impy falls in with a group of girls who seem really nice (until they don't) and starts to be embarrassed of her thrift shop apparel, her family's unusual lifestyle, and their small, messy apartment. Impy has always thought of herself as a heroic knight, but when she does something really mean in order to fit in, she begins to wonder whether she might be more of a dragon after all.
As she did in Roller Girl, Victoria Jamieson perfectly—and authentically—captures the bittersweetness of middle school life with humor, warmth, and understanding.
This young adult historical fiction packs an absolutely powerful punch and it absolutely blew me away. It is ENORMOUSLY FUN to read, and it’s rich with juicy historical goodness, from the locations to the language used to the many chaotic adventures our characters get wrapped up in. The story introduces Monty, a young British lord being groomed to grow up as a gentleman, but to absolutely no avail. Before he takes over his family’s estate (much to his father’s chagrin), Monty embarks on a Grand Tour of Europe with his best friend (whom he’s disastrously in love with), and his sister, but they end up on a whirlwind manhunt across Europe that leaves behind everything they knew before! Full of mayhem and mystery and written with such wit, this book is also balanced with commentary about many historical prejudices involving race, sexuality, and physical ability that persisted in history.
Fall in love with their story, and be sure not to miss the sequel, Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy!
(Young Adult Historical Fiction and Romance, Ages 16+) - reviewed by Isabel