A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Just Jaime is the third graphic novel by Terri Libenson about two middle-school girls, Jaime and Maya, and their friendship drama on the last day of seventh grade. Told in alternating chapters, the book highlights the importance of communication and self-control while also showing how gossip hurts other people's feelings. Characters use words like "stupid," "friggin," and "flippin." There are also mentions of middle school crushes, dating, first kisses, and puberty.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
It’s the last day of seventh grade and Jaime should be excited that summer's about to start. Instead, she's trying to figure out why her friends have been teasing her and excluding her over the past few months. She knows that she should talk to her BFF Maya, but even Maya has been pretty distant lately. Meanwhile, Maya's been annoyed that Jaime doesn't like the same things as the rest of the girls in their popular group. But that doesn't mean it’ll be easy to tell Jaime that she's been voted out. Will their friendship survive or will it be JUST JAIME this summer?
Is it any good?
Terri Libenson has created a fast-paced, emotional graphic novel that perfectly captures the ups and downs of middle school friendships. As in her previous books, Libenson brilliantly uses alternating chapters with different formats -- prose with sketches for Jaime, and comic-style panels for Maya -- to tell the story, which takes place over the course of one eventful day. As Jaime and Maya deal with the drama of "popular" cliques, peer pressure, and jealousy, tweens will see how "mean girl" behavior and gossiping hurts others. Just Jaime might have a predictable ending, but it provides important lessons about communication, self-control, and apologizing for your mistakes.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the graphic novel format. How is it effective in telling the story of Just Jaime?
Do you ever feel different or left out? When? Do you think others in your class or school feel that way? What can you do to help them feel included? How have new friends come into your life? How have you helped build new friendships?
- Author: Terri Libenson
- Illustrator: Terri Libenson
- Genre: Graphic Novel
- Topics: Friendship, Middle School, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Balzer + Bray
- Publication date: May 7, 2019
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 256
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: August 22, 2019
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