– Tori Sharp –
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published 18 May 2021
I’m enjoying diving into some new graphic novels and Just Pretend is delightful, with bright panels and a heartwarming story of growing up. It is actually part memoir, as the author shares her own teenage story within the pages.
Tori lives with her mother, and twin older brother and sisters. She also travels to stay with her dad after the divorce. It can get confusing, juggling different houses and bedrooms. Tori is a writer. She loves to create wonderful worlds into which she can escape when her parents are fighting or her mother and brother are fighting or her older siblings are giving her a hard time. Tori and her best friend write and play together, but when they start school and are put into different classes, Tori will have to get creative to keep them together.
My students clamour to get their hands on bright, colourful and realistic graphic novels like Just Pretend, so I know this one is going to be super popular. Dealing with familiar themes such as transitioning to middle school, adding and losing friendships, parental divorce and sibling rivalry, this is a very relatable story and there is a wonderful addition of Tori’s writing in the book, including panels from a fantasy story.
While it is a true story, I’m going to be shelving this one with our realistic graphic novels. It’s sure to be a hit.
Category: Middle grade graphic novel
Genre: Realistic, Memoir.
Themes: Family, parental divorce, friendship, middle school, writing, creativity,
Reading age guide: Ages 9 and up.
Advisory: Shouting and fighting within a family setting, anger displayed through hitting walls.
Published: 18 May 2021 by Little, Brown Books for Younger Readers
Format: Hardcover, paperback, ebook. 306 pages.