As the title indicates, Memorial Middle School is chock full of junior high drama.
Kamilla is self-conscious about the weight that she’s gained over the summer. Though she has a fantastic singing voice, she has become shy about just going to school, let alone performing in the new play. When she lands the leading role in the school musical after the girl who was cast must drop out, Kamilla reluctantly takes it on. Meanwhile, Lilly is torn between her desire to hang out with the popular mean girls and her wish to maintain her friendship with her nerdy Dungeons and Dragons–playing friend, Franny. In yet another plot thread, track enthusiast Allie discovers she has Type 1 diabetes and must learn how to manage her new diagnosis even as she tries to hide it from her friends. The collection ends with Lucia, who is anxious about attending the big party of the year until she meets her first crush, Adesh, and is forced to confront her social anxiety. With informative interludes between stories, each vignette provides insight into navigating the myriad challenges middle schoolers confront every day. Cho successfully showcases a diverse student body, normalizing a multicultural environment where all students share the same generational ups and downs. Kamilla is black, Lilly and Lucia are Latinx, and Allie is white; the secondary cast is diverse in race, ethnicity, and body type.
An engaging graphic novel that entertains and educates. (Graphic novel. 8-12)