Parent reviews for Drama

Common Sense says

Sharp, funny graphic novel captures chaos of theater.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 40 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 87 reviews
Adult Written bycatapault November 8, 2013

There is a little more to the story . . .

It's important to know that this book addresses the homosexuality of twin 8th grade boys, both of which come out to the central character in the book. Cassie is respectful and kind to the boys and accepts them for who they are. However, the book also has a third character, named West, who it is revealed isn't sure if he is gay or bi. The confusion over sexuality may be a theme too mature for your elementary age child. The book makes no mention of these themes in the summary on the back, in the descripton on the Scholastic website or on Amazon. (Thank you Common Sense Media for mentioning this here.) The book is written on a 2.6 grade level and is a graphic novel, so odds are if it's in your child's elementary school library, your younger child could end up reading this and may not understand these parts of the story. The sexuality of the boys is a sub-theme of the book and I feel that parents should be aware of this so they can make an informed decision about whether their child is ready for this issue or not.

This title contains:

Positive role models
Sexy stuff
Adult Written byErinS10 May 19, 2015

Disappointing

The sexual content is completely inappropriate for children of the age that will want to read this book.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Parent of a 9 and 11-year-old Written byAlertmom November 3, 2015

Concerning Content

The main storyline in this book is fine. The underlying storyline is very concerning. The homosexual content is not understated but rather very up front. Not appropriate for kids that you are not ready to have that conversation with.
Adult Written byYeehawgirl July 23, 2018

“Drama” gives a great example of finding the gay community in theater.

The book, for me, was rather entertaining and interesting as it should be for children. The book follows the main character, Callie as she works in the stage crew of a middle school musical. As two new children arrive in the school and theater scene, Callie befriends them. Later in the book she learns they are both gay. There are few scenes of finding some kids kissing, which I believe is perfectly fine for children 10-11+. As the gay community is becoming more wide, I think this book is perfect to show that homosexuality is fine, and gay people are just about the same as everyone else.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Adult Written byajwmom May 22, 2013

Disappointed...

My 12 yr old daughter is a big fan of Smile and a bit of a reluctant reader so when she saw Drama she instantly gravitated to it based on her experience with Smile. I looked at the book and thought the graphics were great. She stopped reading it a few chapters in. She's in Drama and was interested from the aspect of someone who wants to be the star but falls short in acting/singing talent but finds her place behind the scenes. That appealed to her but once she hit the same sex crush, she was confused. It sparked a conversation about steroetypes regarding males interested in Drama and singing in musicals. My daughter elected not to continue the book because she felt a bit mislead from the synopsis and beginning of the story. Just not her cup of tea. Parents should be prepared to discuss boys having crushes on other boys, perpetuating sterotypes of males involved in Theatre , girl crushes on boys who like boys, and unkind behavior amongst friends. I give it 1 star simply because the graphics are so good. Provided you're ready to broach mature subject matter with you middle-schooler, they'll enjoy the graphics.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Parent of a 2, 6, 10, and 12-year-old Written byAshley C. November 12, 2017

Misleading and sneaky

My 10 year old checked this book out and while her older sister read it one day, we found out it was not appropriate for the little children it is marketed at. My children go to school and I trust that they will be taken care of and protected. I feel extremely let down and wish the book had a disclaimer on it before my young daughter so innocently checked it out. I am not happy.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Adult Written bymkwas May 15, 2016

Poor quality

It's a sad day when a comic strip, 2nd grade reading level book comes on the market as a "teenage novel series" And that is why America is not winning on the education front worldwide! First of all, I have to disagree with the Commonsense Org review in that it does have romantic contact between two boys, one of who is playing a girl in a school play and the boys have a kissing scene...there is also a couple making out in the dressing room of the school and another intimate contact (kissing scene) throughout. The main focus is the characters' sexuality struggle. The phrase "bi" is also listed for bi-sexual. Overall, not appropriate for elementary school age, yet because the reading level is so low on it, it's in all the schools. Compared to kids who read classic novels that are insightful and challenging, this is a horrible work in both literary sense and content.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Adult Written byAnna1997 September 27, 2019

Misleading

The subject matter of this book is inappropriate for children no matter what your social views may be. The summary of the book is beyond misleading, and as a parent, I won't be selecting this author's materials anymore for my children. My 4th grader brought this book home and was like, this book has too much kissing, and even a boy kissed a boy! Promoting kissing at school is such a toxic thing to promote to children. Any book that sexualizes children should not be promoted. Instead of teaching children about self control and respect, this book promotes selfish desires and disrespect. This book is garbage.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Parent of a 5 and 9-year-old Written byLollipopmom126 November 16, 2018

Ignore the homophobic soccer moms

So. A lot more 13+ ratings than I'd thought. Theres literally just 2 real kiss scenes, one which is between the same gender, and one which is between different genders. Now, it's your child, your choice, but a children's or tween book with LGBTQ characters, and in 2012, is downright amazing! Really, it depends on your views and wether or not your child is young enough, but really, the book is pretty amazing.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Sexy stuff
Parent of a 8-year-old Written byLybi W. May 24, 2018

Not for little kids!

My 8 year old begged for this book. The other books by this author were fine for younger kids, so I thought it would be ok. There is absolutely no warning in the descriptions that this book revolves around the homosexuality/ bisexuality of 3 of the main characters. The boy-on-boy kiss in this book actually WAS romantic, despite what some other reviews said. Yes, it was for a play, but they begin a romantic relationship after as a result of it. NOT for 2nd and 3rd graders! This book perpetuates a lot of harmful stereotypes, like that hetero guys are jerks, guys that love theater are all gay, and that girls should be alone. I really wish there was some warning about the sexual themes in this book.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Adult Written byJ S. January 30, 2017

Not forthright, not for kids under 12!

This book is not for the age specified. It targets grades 2-4, which is crazy. It shows students sneaking backstage to make out. Girl/ boy crushes, boy/ boy crushes , boys coming out as gay, and boys kissing each other ( albeit in the play). I was not prepared to answer the questions that my 3rd grader asked me ( after she read this book) regarding sexuality and kissing at school.
For me, this is not about someone being gay or not, I have plenty of gay friends. This is about promoting sexual behaviors in school to kids who are not ready for this kind of information. Even my gay friends agree.
In closing, if you have ....
1. Gone over the birds and the bees with your child to include LGBTQ topics.
2. Read the book yourself.
3. Talked to your child before and after they read it .
...then go for it. If you skip any of the steps, I would not bother.
Parent of a 11 and 13-year-old Written byteacher_mom August 23, 2018

Not appropriate for kids!

After my daughter loved "Smile" so much, I agreed to get the author's other books. I was excited because she ordinarily doesn't like to read! I was quite shocked when she asked me to identify a word, and the word was "gay." Not only that, but there were pages addressing the topic. I normally check Common Sense Media before allowing my girls to read books, and I sure wish I'd done so this time!

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Adult Written byMamalucy January 9, 2018

Terrible

This book appeals to young readers but has way too much sexuality to be anywhere near appropriate.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Adult Written bymilissar March 16, 2016

Vague Summary Not Appreciated

I think the summary should be more forthcoming with the idea of homosexuality. I'm glad that I read the book before giving it to my daughter as I do not want her reading about that topic as a fourth grader.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Adult Written by100ftabove May 7, 2015

Great read, important subjects

I read this because I work in a school library where the kids basically fight for the only copies we have of this graphic novel (one English and one French translation). I thought it was a cute read, and I can see why the kids like it so much. I think the subject matter is totally fine for any kid over the age of 9, despite some people's misconceptions of the book. Kids ought to know about different sexual or romantic preferences, and to be honest, most kids have no issues with it in the story. It isn't "all about" people's sexualities like most people are making it out to seem. It's set in middle school, a time where the majority of kids are obsessed with romance and crushes and whatnot. I thought that the way the twins are presented are awesome, especially with how open and supportive Callie and the other students are. I think we need more books that talk about these things if we're going to get kids to understand that it's okay not to be heteronormative. I wish there was more stuff like this when I was younger and questioning my own sexuality.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byShawn S. October 16, 2017

Bait and switch

I was horrified when my 5 year old can to me one morning asking me as to why there were two boys kissing in his sisters comic book from school. As I inquired more, I learned my 7 year old had checked out this book from the library for her reading log and had been sharing with my 5 year old excerpts from the book that are inappropriate for their ages both in language and subject matter. After talking with our daughter and reading through the book, I find this book appeals to younger kids due to the comic nature, but has underlying messages and content that are not appropriate for the targeted audience. This book is not suitable for an elementary school library and if purchased for library use, should have a warning considered or parental approval for this book.
Adult Written byT Reads August 14, 2019

Eye Opener - There are kids who are LGBTQ in your kids school

Such an important book for students who are LGBTQ to see books with characters that represent them. Such an important book for kids who are not LGBTQ to understand that everyone has the same fears and concerns regardless of sexual orientation. If you think this topic is too early to discuss with your kids, you are not living in reality. There are LGBTQ kids in elementary, middle, and high school. It is an important topic to discuss with your kids at an early age if you want to discuss it with them before they see it for themselves. This book is appropriate for Grades 5 and up.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Parent of a 9-year-old Written byJifinifer May 1, 2019

We loved it!

This was such a great story! My third grader thought it was hilarious that a boy saved the day by playing the girl's part. My 5th grader enjoyed all the drama and could relate as she wants to be in plays. She can't wait for middle school.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Parent Written byJRivers34 June 26, 2018

Wildly inappropriate for children below the age of 18

If you are allowing your child to read this book, you need to know that it deals with homosexual content at a very young age. After allowing our child was allowed to read "Smiles," "Ghost," "Sisters," and the babysitters club...I was horrified to have to have a conversation about "What is gay" in front of my little children when my child ran across the text involving a pre-teen homosexual. Raina's other books are great, but this one is not so wholesome.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Adult Written byRita2020 September 11, 2020

A book about homosexuality.

I found this book on a elementary school. I don’t think this is appropriate for kids. Kids at school were confused about why would a boy kiss another boy instead of the girl that have a crush on him.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff

Pages