GRAPHIC NOVELS

Diary

Yen/JY. (Berrybrook Middle School: Bk. 4). Oct. 2019. 192p. pap. $13. ISBN 9781975332792.
COPY ISBN
Gr 4-6–Chmakova’s latest installment in her wildly popular series about the kids of Berrybrook Middle School is a combination of diary entries and several short stories about friendship. Jaime frets when her best friend Peppi obsesses over Jesse—will their friendship change if Peppi and Jesse begin dating? Meanwhile, Maribella is starting over at a new school. Her new classmates are not as friendly as she had hoped, and Maribella wonders whether she’ll make any friends. Chmakova uses the same minimalist cartoon illustrations and muted colors as in previous stories, and she once again handles friendship woe with sensitivity. Spot-on dialogue adds interest. The author invites readers to use the book as a day planner, sketchbook, and diary, with pages to write and draw on and a sheet of stickers, which would make this one difficult book to maintain in a library collection.
VERDICT This book would be a great summer reading prize for fans of the series; however, given the interactive elements, purchase for circulating collection is not recommended.

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