Callie is a 7th grade student who loves everything about the theatre. She lives & breathes the backstage life all while juggling friendships and crushes. When the school announces one of her favourite musicals as that year’s production, she immediately goes into set designer mode, eagerly helping out in all different departments as well. Meeting new friends and dealing with weird behaviour from old ones, Callie goes through what many young people do at that age – heartaches, heartbreaks and a lot of growing up in the process.
This adorable middle-grade graphic novel is a fantastic read. The drawings are vivacious and cute, with a story that is familiar, yet unique at the same time. Being a theatre tech graduate myself, the plot and setting for this graphic novel immediately caught my attention. I just knew I had to read it and Telgemeier captured so many aspects of backstage life so well – from the calling of cues over headsets to the highs and woes that can befall a live production from night to night. While I was a little disappointed at the outcome of Callie’s crushing, I also commend her for establishing the route that it did as well.
The love that Telgemeier has for the theatre shines through in this graphic novel, and her appreciation for this craft is evident in her choice of words, her drawings and the story.