Friday 21 July 2023

Homeroom Diaries

Finished July 18
Homeroom Diaries by James Patterson and Lisa Papademetriou

This graphic novel follows high school student Margaret "Cuckoo" Clarke over the course of a few months. Cuckoo's mom has disappeared for a few days from time to time, but recently she's been gone for much longer, and Cuckoo now lives as a foster child with her neighbour Mrs. Morris. She's also spent a short period of time in a mental institution being observed after having some strong feelings around her mother's unexplained disappearance.
Her group of friends at school are all outsiders of some type, not fitting into one of the more defined groups such as: jocks, nerds, barbies, goths, haters, or zomboids. They refer to themselves as the Freakshow, and created nicknames for themselves that are worse that whatever the bullies come up with. Thus she is Cuckoo; her international baccalaureate best friend is Brainzilla; Asian friend Hanna is Eggy, short for Eggroll; Paul with acne issues is Zitsy; religious and sporty Paul is Tebow; and weightroom user overweight Beverly is Flatso. 
The group decides to work on a Happiness Project to bring nicer vibes to the school, but run into barriers along the way. 
They also have to deal with an out-of-touch principal; a underage genius teacher; a nosy school psychologist, and attitudes from their fellow students.
As the school year progresses, they undergo more challenges, from online bullying to personal loss, and work together to support each other. They also find support in unexpected places.
The drawing really bring this story to life, giving more insight into the characters. I really liked the narrator and her way of looking at things and being honest about her feelings. I also liked how the friend group really cared about each other. 
I really enjoyed this read. 

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