CM . . .
. Volume XII Number 6 . . . . November 10, 2005
Queen Bee, the first volume in a new series from Graphix, an imprint of Scholastic, is a graphic novel about the trials of junior high popularity. When she transfers to a new junior high school, former nerd Haley has an opportunity to remake her image and become a member of the "in" crowd. The only catch is that when Haley gets emotional or upset, something which happens frequently during the traumatic period of early adolescence, she triggers her telekinetic powers to make chairs fly, glass break and objects move. She is welcomed into a group of popular girls known as "the Hive." When a new mean girl, Alexa, who possesses the same telekinetic super powers, arrives on the scene, the two girls literally create a hurricane. The last few pages hint at the connection between the two rivals - "Alexa knows a secret and Haley is in for a big surprise," and the anticipation is built up for the next volume in the series which will develop the relationship between the long lost sisters.
This graphic novel is based on a book that examines adolescent cliques, Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman which inspired the movie Mean Girls. The expressive black and white manga-like artwork seems to be influenced by Betty and Veronica comics, Sabrina the Teenage Witch TV series with a pinch of Spiderman thrown in for good measure.
Chynna Clugston, who wrote the Harvey and Eisner nominated series for older teens, “Blue Moon,” is an accomplished writer-illustrator. Chynna has her finger on the pulse of popular culture and includes references to Gwen Stefani and The Go-Gos and depictions of contemporary fashion which will strike a chord with tweens and teens.
Queen Bee is a funny, readable story about social rivalry in middle school that will help fill a gap for graphic novels for younger girls.
Jane Bridle is librarian at the Winnipeg Public Library in Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.