Illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
Fiction/Graphic Novel, 2008
Groundwood Books (Anansi Press), hardback, 140 p.
Winner of the Ignatz Award for Outstanding Graphic Novel, 2008
“Skim” is Kimberly Keiko Cameron, a not-slim, would-be Wiccan goth who goes to a private girls’ school. When her classmate Katie Matthews is dumped by her boyfriend, who then kills himself, the entire school goes into mourning overdrive. As concerned guidance counsellors provide lectures on the “cycle of grief,” and the popular clique starts a new club (Girls Celebrate Life!) to bolster school spirit, Skim sinks into an ever-deepening depression.I don’t remember now where I first heard of this graphic novel, but I had it on my list of books to look for while I was in Canada over Christmas last year, and it did, in fact, come back with me. The recent read-a-thon was the perfect occasion to finally read it. It’s the story of a somewhat ordinary, shy girl not really knowing how to deal with all the new, intense, confusing emotions she’s experiencing. I don’t personally know any teenagers these days but the character of Kim felt very real. The illustrations were wonderfully expressive and did a great job portraying her internal conflict as she tries to come to terms with who she really is. I think a lot of us can, at least I know I could, relate to being a teenager, feeling alone and misunderstood. As Skim says, “Being sixteen is officially the worst thing I’ve ever been.”
And falling in love only makes things worse…
With some moments of wry humour and sadness, it’s a touching story of growing up. Recommended.
Images © Jillian Tamaki
Mariko Tamaki's website
Mariko Tamaki's blog
Jillian Tamaki's website
Jillian Tamaki's sketchbook
Review in The New York Times
First sentence: Dear Diary,
Today Lisa said, “Everyone thinks they are unique.” That is not unique!!
My Rating: 4/5
(#26 for 2009, Graphic Novels Challenge, 2nd Canadian Book Challenge, Book Awards II Challenge)
Also reviewed at:
Stuff As Dreams Are Made On
Life in the Thumb
words by Annie
nothing of importance
If you've also reviewed this title, let me know and I'll link to it here.