Rummanah Aasi

Description: Imogene (Impy) has grown up with two parents working at the Renaissance Faire, and she's eager to begin her own training as a squire. First, though, she'll need to prove her bravery. Luckily Impy has just the quest in mind--she'll go to public school after a life of being homeschooled! But it's not easy to act like a noble knight-in-training in middle school. Impy falls in with a group of girls who seem really nice (until they don't) and starts to be embarrassed of her thrift shop apparel, her family's unusual lifestyle, and their small, messy apartment. Impy has always thought of herself as a heroic knight, but when she does something really mean in order to fit in, she begins to wonder whether she might be more of a dragon after all.

Review: Victoria Jamieson's sophomore graphic novel, All's Faire in Middle School, is another great read. After years of homeschooling, Imogene is excited and a little bit terrified to start public school for the first time. As an added bonus, she finally gets to perform in the Renaissance faire as a squire, where her mom has a shop and her dad plays a knight. Imogene doesn’t have much trouble adjusting to her new role at the faire, but she is very lost on how to navigate middle school. She is unfamiliar with the unspoken social rules of middle school such as how to dress, who to sit with, and how to fit in with her peers. Imogen stumbles her way through middle school by making mistakes in complying with bullying, lying to impress her "friends", and hiding her real self in order to belong, all of which are the rites of passage of junior high. 
  I really enjoyed the artwork which felt realistic and vibrant with lots of warm tones. The text and illustrations playfully incorporates medieval imagery that reflect her frustrations with school and as well as highlight the more boring aspect of Imogen's homelife. Using the fair as an allegory, Jamieson brings out the authentic concerns of middle schoolers with humor and warmth.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None.

If you like this book try: Real Friends by Shannon Hale, Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova
2 Responses
  1. This isn't quite for me (but it might make a good pressie) but you have me curious about that artwork. :)

  2. There are so many fun middle grade books and this one sounds like junior high kids would take to it.

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