Back to School with Award-Winning Author Jennifer Holm
Jennifer Holm is a dynamo of middle grade writing, with three Newbery Honor books under her belt (Our Only May Amelia, Penny From Heaven, and Turtle in Paradise) plus the popular Babymouse and Squish graphic novel series' she writes with her brother Matt. I met Holm several years ago at a local book show and she left a lasting impression on me (as one of the nicest kids' authors I've had occasion to meet), so it's been fun to follow her career and accolades.
Holm's latest book, Eighth Grade is Making Me Sick, takes on the trials and tribulations of eighth grade through the life of Ginny Davis. The story is a blend of humor and heart that Holm does so well, and the format is really cool--a graphic novel/scrapbook hybrid of illustrations that reminds me of the parental notes and locker doors I remember with feelings of both nostalgia and nausea.
Below is an exclusive note for Omni readers from Jenni Holm, and a fun video of illustrator Elicia Castaldi at work. Warning: cake will be harmed.
A NOTE FROM JENNI HOLM:
The front of someone’s refrigerator has always been the ultimate puzzle to me. Magnets. A horoscope. Part of a doodle. A to-do list. They all add up to a story in my head about the family that lives there.
Eighth Grade Is Making Me Sick embraces this idea. It’s about a girl named Ginny who’s like a lot of middle schoolers you may know: she negotiates with her parents, she wants to try out to be a cheerleader, she has a crush on her lab partner. You discover these things by “reading” through the stuff of her life: emails, notes, text messages, calendars, grocery lists, report cards, hand-drawn comics, homework assignments, and more. The images work together like a puzzle, and you can uncover as many facts about Ginny as you can find.
I hope that you enjoy this unique look at one girl's eighth grade year. And who knows? Maybe some day you'll see the front of the refrigerator as a canvas for telling your own story.
p.s. : Check out this behind-the-scenes video of illustrator Elicia Castaldi putting together Eighth Grade is Making Me Sick!