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YALSA Hub Challenge: If you liked Drama…

As promised, this week we’ll be featuring the top ten read-alikes for the recently discussed award-winner Drama by Raina Telgemeier.  You can read us investigating just what makes this title great in last week’s post, but this week is about finding more titles for your Drama fans to love.

Read on for our contributors picks!

a + e 4ever

by Ilike Merey

Why? Last year’s Stonewall Book Award winner that address the fluidity of gender between two close teenage friends and pushes the boundaries of sexual content. Definitely for more mature readers. -Scott

  • a + e 4ever. 2011. 214 pp. 9781590213902.


by MK Reed and Jonathan David Hill

Why? This title is more about book geeks than drama geeks, but there’s a lot of kindred spirits in those two groups.  Like Callie, Neal has to deal with a lot of outside pressures and figure out just when to assert his independence.  As you may recall, we here at Good Comics for Kids had varied opinions about this title, but there’s no doubt of its appeal to teens struggling to find their voice and be heard. -Robin

Our review is here, and our interview with creator MK Reed is here.

  • Americus. 2011. 224 pp. 9781596436015.

The Baby Sitters Club series

by Ann M. Martin, adapted by Raina Telgemeier

Why? I have a poster drawn by Raina (for Scholastic’s Read Every Day literacy campaign) and the kids have recognized the books by her style of drawing. I only feel it’s natural that when you enjoy one book by an author that you should read other things by the same author. -Caleb

  • The Baby-Sitters Club: Kristy’s Great Idea. 2006. 196 pp. 9780439739337.
  • The Baby-Sitters Club: The Truth About Stacey. 2006. 144 pp. 9780439739368.
  • The Baby-Sitters Club: Mary Anne Saves the Day. 2007. 160 pp. 9780439885164.
  • The Baby-Sitters Club: Claudia and Mean Janine. 2008. 176 pp. 9780439885171.


by J. Torres and Rick Burchett

Why? Jinx, both the character and the book, focuses on the positive, embracing taking a wild chance even if a little propriety is in order.  Jinx tends to leap before she looks, and like Callie, her actions don’t always lead to the results she  expects.  An optimistic look at figuring out the beginning of high school. -Robin

  • Jinx. 2012. 112 pp. 978187979491.

Kevin Keller

by Dan Parent

Why? Aimed at the same middle school-aged kids that Drama appeals to, Kevin Keller is the newest teen to move to Riverdale. He’s cute, he’s funny, he’s smart, and he’s gay. This title is one of the few graphic novels to make this year’s Rainbow List. -Eva

  • Kevin Keller: Welcome to Riverdale. 2012. 112 pp. 9781936975235.
  • Kevin Keller. 2012. 160 pp. 9781879794931. (hardcover)

Rainy Day Recess

by David Kelly

Why? This collection of previously published strips about a young boy named Steven has the same kind of light tone as Drama and addresses LGBTQ issues with similar frankness and sensitivity. -Scott

  • Rainy Day Recess: The Complete Steven’s Comics. 2011. 120 pp. 9780984594023.

Rapunzel’s Revenge

by Dean Hale, Shannon Hale, and Nathan Hale

Why? I thought Callie was a strong female character and when I think of strong female characters I think of Rapunzel in Rapunzel’s Revenge. -Esther

Our review of Rapunzel’s Revenge is here, our roundtable discussion of Calamity Jack is here, and our Q&A with artist Nathan Hale can be found here.

  • Rapunzel’s Revenge. 2008. 144 pp. 9781599902883.
  • Calamity Jack. 2010. 144 pp. 9781599903736.


by Raina Telgemeier

Why? This is the most obvious Drama readlike, and is so obvious, chances are anyone who has read Drama has already read it: It’s Telgemeier’s previous book, and bears many of the exact same virtues of Drama, naturally including Telgemeier’s voice and art.

Check out our interview with Raina and her lovely husband (and Astronaut Academy creator) Dave Roman here.

  • Smile. 2010. 224 pp. 9780545132060.

Wandering Son

by Shimura Takako

Why? This remarkably sweet and delicate title is one of the first and best to address gender identity for a younger teen audience.  While gender hijinks in Japanese manga are frequently played for laughs, this series takes the question of gender identity seriously but sidesteps too much immediate angst.  The main characters are both in 5th grade as the story begins, and the pacing has kept the focus entirely appropriate (and compelling) for teens. -Robin

Our review of volume 1 is here, and our review of volume 2 is here.

  • Wandering Son v. 1. 2011. 192 pp. 9781606994160.
  • Wandering Son v. 2. 2012. 200 pp. 9781606994566.
  • Wandering Son v. 3. 2012. 200 pp. 9781606995334.
  • Wandering Son v. 4. 2013. 200 pp. 9781606996058. (forthcoming)

A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel

by Madeleine L’Engle, adapted by Hope Larson

Why? Few beloved heroines of kid lit are as beloved as smart, hot-tempered Meg Murray, and Hope Larson’s lyrical and inspired adaptation of this science fiction classic tackles what it means to be an outsider and how you make and find your family.  Many young readers may know the book already but this version adds a whole new layer to revisiting a favorite comfort read. -Robin

  • A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel. 2012. 392 pp. 9780374386153.

What would you suggest for your Drama fans?

Robin Brenner About Robin Brenner

Robin Brenner is Teen Librarian at the Brookline Public Library in Massachusetts. When not tackling programs and reading advice at work, she writes features and reviews for publications including VOYA, Early Word, Library Journal, and Knowledge Quest. She has served on various awards committees, from the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards to the Boston Globe Horn Book Awards. She is the editor-in-chief of the graphic novel review website No Flying No Tights.


  1. Great picks! I too create and post readalike recommendations and booklists, so I appreciate this!

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