69 – Page by Paige

page-by-paigeBook Title: Page by Paige
Author: Laura Lee Gulledge
Style:
Graphic Novel
Target Audience:
YA
Genres:
Fiction
Page Count:
192
Format:
Hardcover (library)
Reading time
: 1.5 hours
Date Finished
: 3/12/17
Click here to find it on Amazon (New window)

In a word: Beautiful.

My impressions: Page by Paige is a fun little black and white graphic novel about a 16-year-old artist who moves to New York City from Virginia and who uses art to break out of her shell and find herself. It’s sweet and pretty, featuring some very nice artwork that varies in style and in approach depending upon the mood of the chapter and the ideas being expressed. I wouldn’t say it’s a particularly challenging read (there’s no real conflict), and Paige almost borders on Mary Sue territory by being able to overcome her problems with so little drama. But I read this book as something intended to be encouraging to young girls who have an artistic mode of thought, and the problems Paige struggles with (trying to fit in, not getting along with her parents, feeling displaced after her move, and so forth) feel real enough that Paige has some three-dimensionality about her.

I rarely commend a graphic novel for its art, but this book stands out with its sketchbook-like approach that not only offers a narrative, but which also conveys mood and emotion and abstract ideas in a manner that suits the characters. Some of the best panels relate to Paige’s feeling that she looks inward to her artistic spirit as much as she looks outward towards the world around her, and the combination of the two yields some fantastic moments. Usually this sort of stuff is style over substance, but since this story feels semi-autobiographical, it’s grounded in Paige’s (and I presume the author’s) reality.

I’d love for my daughter to read this book when she gets a little older – I think it’ll really resonate with her. But I don’t think it’s restricted to being something that only young girls can enjoy. There’s a sort of honesty to this character that makes the story feel like it could be enjoyed by anyone. Once again, a female comic book creator demonstrates that the medium can do far more than it’s popularly known for accomplishing, and I’m glad I had a chance to read it.

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