Title: The Truth About Stacey
Author: Ann M. Martin
Illustrator: Raina Telgemeier
Published: Scholastic (Graphix), 2015
You guys might’ve heard that I’m a wee bit of a BSC fan (BSC, yeah you know me). Karl heard that too and ended up getting me the first four graphic novelizations of the original series. Initially, I was apprehensive. Would the graphic novels live up to my memories? Would having the girls right there in front of me, in living colour, take away from my the pictures of them that live(d) in my mind?
The answers are: yes to the first question and no to the second! The books are fantastic. I love them. Here’s why:
- Raina Telgemeier is a genius. I said to Karl the other day that she’s the Kate DiCamillo of graphic novels. After remembering who Kate DiCamillo was, he readily agreed. I just finished reading Ghosts (written and illustrated by the talented Raina) and I LOVED it. Anything this artist/writer touches turns to gold. I already have (and adore) Smile and Sisters. And Drama is on its way, thanks to a Chapters gift card! I’m a Raina fan, is what I’m saying. Her art style is just PERFECT for the BSC. I love all the character designs, but I especially enjoyed Claudia. I love the purple hair. It’s just something she totally would’ve done. The girls look the way you’d imagine them (although, TBH, Claudia’s room is far less messy than I envisioned, and her clothes are waaaay tamer than I figured they’d be).
- The BSC series has some terrific books (looking at you, Kristy’s Big Day) and some real duds (looking at you, Claudia and The Phantom Phone Calls – book two in the original series, but not at all used in the graphic novels. Why not? Well, because now everyone has call display. So…you know…if the phantom phone caller phoned, Claudia could just check the number, block it and…er…story over. Things were potentially scarier in the eighties, kids.) The first four books they made into graphic novels are really solid. That’s why Claudia and Mean Janine is in there, although it was book 7 in the original series. It’s a really good book with a lot of drama and an interesting, emotionally charged story. And although I didn’t do a side-by-side comparison (yet), I found the graphic novel versions lacked any of the draggy bits that the originals tend to have. And also? No long chapter two intro to the club members in EVERY SINGLE BOOK. OMG, we know MaryAnne is the shy one with the boyfriend! Kristy is mouthy and short! Stacey has diabetes and is from New York! Claudia can’t spell for beans and wears clothes she found on an abandoned scarecrow! Dawn loves the environment and would totes marry it if she could! Jessi is a ballet star and reads horse books! So does Mallory (who has braces and glasses and her life is SOOO hard)! Gotcha, loud and clear!
- Vivi adores the books. Anything that my six-year-old enjoys and reads on her own makes me happy. She is reading a couple of grade levels ahead, so finding books that appeal to her, are age-appropriate but not boring, and that she can read independently is a bit of a challenge. These fit the bill perfectly. She devoured Kristy’s Great Idea in literally two hours. I thought she might’ve skimmed it/skipped bits of it, but after a thorough grilling to make sure she understood what she had read, I had to admit: her comprehension was 100%. She read the whole thing. And she has re-read them. Vivi is also presently into Phoebe and her Unicorn, but those are a bit over her head, joke-wise. She gets about 70% of the book, but enough of it is above her that we end up answering a lot of questions.
Anyway, this post is supposed to be all about Stacey. So, the review: The Truth About Stacey is terrific. It’s enjoyable. It’s…well…let’s hear from Vivi:
“It’s one of my favourite BSC books. I just love the art and the story is really good. My favourite part is when Stacey and Laine meet up and eventually become friends again. It’s just so sweet. By the way, the truth about Stacey is that she has diabetes. Diabetes is when you can’t eat too much sugar or you’ll get sick. Stacey doesn’t always handle it well, but she learns to deal with it more by the end of the book.”