Awkward series by Svetlana Chmakova

Hello everyone, this week’s review is about another series of books I found. They have something special about them: they are all graphic novels. Set in a typical American middle school, we’re treated to a unique look into the daily lives of a group of tweens. If this has captured your attention because your ‘tween’ will read only graphics, then have a read of this delightful series!

three grid cover images Awkward girl and boy in colour sitting facing away Brave three kids boy between two girls Crush boy sitting looking at girl in plait last square Awkward series by Svetlana Chmakova
An engaging graphic novel series

Titles: Awkward, Brave, Crush

Author: Svetlana Chmakova

Genre: Fiction – contemporary (Graphic Novel)

Publication details: Yen Press; NY, 2015 & 2017, JY; NY, 2018

What these books are about: Middle School: it can be the place that you find out who your people are on the first day, or trip into a boy and get stuck with the most embarrassing nickname. Penelope (Peppi) Torres figures the only way to handle this crisis is to shove poor Jaimie Thompson and run away. And so begins the eventful first book, Awkward, leading to many more awkward clashes between the two and their respective clubs!! And when the two clubs go to war, Peppi realizes that sometimes you have to break the rules to survive middle school! In the second book, Brave, we meet Jensen who finds his middle school reality is very different from his daydreams of saving the world – math is hard, getting along with friends is hard. When he gets swept up along with the school newspaper crew Jenny and Akilah, he’s drawn into the whirlwind of school news, social-experiment projects, and behind-the-scenes club drama. The charming world of Berrybrook Middle School gets a little bigger in this story about a boy who learns his own way of being brave! In the third instalment Crush we meet another group of kids from Berrybrook Middle School. Jorge is a sweet guy with a solid, reliable group of friends. The only time he ever really feels off his game is when he crosses paths with a certain girl. But when the group dynamic among the boys starts to shift, will Jorge be able to balance what his friends expect of him with what he actually wants? 

My review: I really loved this set of  graphic novels!! Middle school has never been more vividly portrayed than in here!! I love how the author has managed to convey the emotions, personality and character of each of the different groups of kids in her strips! Each story comes equipped with a unique storyline and a dynamic group of peers. It’s so heartwarming, and funny, when simple things like acceptance, tolerance, honesty, loyalty and celebrating your differences makes it into books like this and we get to read them!! I enjoyed meeting crossover characters in the second and third books along with the new ones. The teachers are also quite cool. Love how they are all diverse too!! A great read for all who love school stories and dramas that come with them!!

My rating: 5 ⭐

Additional notes: Awkward was nominated for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards for Best Publication for teens (ages 13 – 17), and the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award in 2017, and the Rebecca Caudill Young Readers Book Award in 2018. Brave was nominated for the Harvey Awards for Best Children or Young Adult Book in 2018.

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