Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes
Favorite Quote: “I know how it’s supposed to work in seventh grade: You are who the other kids say you are. But I’m not ok with that. I’ll say who I am.”
ABOUT: A laugh-out-loud funny and empowering graphic memoir about growing up and finding your voice.
Twelve-year-old Cindy has just dipped a toe into seventh-grade drama—with its complicated friendships, bullies, and cute boys—when she earns an internship as a cub reporter at a local newspaper in the early 1970s. A (rare) young female reporter takes Cindy under her wing, and Cindy soon learns not only how to write a lede, but also how to respectfully question authority, how to assert herself in a world run by men, and—as the Watergate scandal unfolds—how brave reporting and writing can topple a corrupt world leader. Searching for her own scoops, Cindy doesn’t always get it right, on paper or in real life. But whether she’s writing features about ghost hunters, falling off her bicycle and into her first crush, or navigating shifting friendships, Cindy grows wiser and more confident through every awkward and hilarious mistake.
My Review: For context: Cub takes place in 1972/1973 America. The infamous Watergate scandal is making waves in the media and there’s also President Richard Nixon’s re-election by a landslide.
It was interesting to read a memoir as a middle grade graphic novel. I think it translated well and gave that extra authenticity to the story. I liked Cindy’s development and how through the confusing loss of her best friend she discovers a passion for journalism. And in turn her voice.
How hard middle school life is socially and the pressure fit in and “be cool” is depicted very well through an apt predator versus prey metaphor.
The book teaches Cindy (and the reader) what journalism is, how to report and write a news story, and the importance of an ethical, fact-driven media and its influence. This is one the book’s most important points relevant to today’s media.
Good story all in all.