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Review: Page by Paige

Moving to a new city in the middle of high school and mid-year is a challenge for any teen.  For Paige Turner it’s an opportunity to discover herself.

Page by Paige
Laura Lee Gulledge
Ages 11-16
Amulet Books, 2011, 978-0-8109-9722-6
$9.95, 192p.

When Paige moves to New York City mid-year, she buys a sketchbook to get in touch with her artist self and to help express her feelings of confusion.  Following the six rules her grandmother taught her about being an artist, Paige goes through the rest of the school year learning about friendship, self-expression, and getting in touch with herself as well as her parents.

Paige meets a group of friends who immediately include her in their small circle.  They form a bond where Paige is able to open up and share her drawings and even finds someone to draw with.  And of course there’s a budding romance.

The thoughtful words and panels are overly introspective and even a bit self-indulgent.  Many of the metaphoric drawings will either resonate with readers or bore them with the overly introspective nature of the book.  While the black and white ink drawings are beautiful the story gets bogged down with Paige’s symbolic drawings.

While this graphic novel has literary merit, it has limited teen appeal.

Esther Keller About Esther Keller

Esther Keller is the librarian at JHS 278, Marine Park in Brooklyn, NY. There she started the library's first graphic novel collection and strongly advocated for using comics in the classroom. Her collection is also the model for all middle school libraries in NYC. She started her career at the Brooklyn Public Library, and later jumped ship to the school system so she could have summer vacation and a job that would align with a growing family's schedule. On the side, she is a mother of 4 and regularly reviews for SLJ and School Library Connection (formerly LMC). In her past life, she served on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee where she solidified her love and dedication to comics.

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