Cover image for Honor girl : a graphic memoir
Title:
Honor girl : a graphic memoir
Author:
Thrash, Maggie, author, illustrator.
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press, 2015.
Physical Description:
267 pages : color illustrations ; 24 cm
Summary:
"Maggie Thrash has spent basically every summer of her fifteen-year-old life at the one-hundred-year-old Camp Bellflower for Girls, set deep in the heart of Appalachia. She's from Atlanta, she's never kissed a guy, she's into Backstreet Boys in a really deep way, and her long summer days are full of a pleasant, peaceful nothing . . . until one confounding moment. A split-second of innocent physical contact pulls Maggie into a gut-twisting love for an older, wiser, and most surprising of all (at least to Maggie), female counselor named Erin. But Camp Bellflower is an impossible place for a girl to fall in love with another girl, and Maggie's savant-like proficiency at the camp's rifle range is the only thing keeping her heart from exploding. When it seems as if Erin maybe feels the same way about Maggie, it's too much for both Maggie and Camp Bellflower to handle, let alone to understand" --
General Note:
"A graphic memoir by Maggie Thrash"--Dust jacket.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
GN 400 Lexile.
Personal Subject:
ISBN:
9780763673826
Format :
Book

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HQ75.4.T495 A3 2015 Graphic Novel Central Library
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Summary

Summary

All-girl camp. First love. First heartbreak. At once romantic and devastating, brutally honest and full of humor, this graphic-novel memoir is a debut of the rarest sort.

Maggie Thrash has spent basically every summer of her fifteen-year-old life at the one-hundred-year-old Camp Bellflower for Girls, set deep in the heart of Appalachia. She's from Atlanta, she's never kissed a guy, she's into Backstreet Boys in a really deep way, and her long summer days are full of a pleasant, peaceful nothing . . . until one confounding moment. A split-second of innocent physical contact pulls Maggie into a gut-twisting love for an older, wiser, and most surprising of all (at least to Maggie), female counselor named Erin. But Camp Bellflower is an impossible place for a girl to fall in love with another girl, and Maggie's savant-like proficiency at the camp's rifle range is the only thing keeping her heart from exploding. When it seems as if Erin maybe feels the same way about Maggie, it's too much for both Maggie and Camp Bellflower to handle, let alone to understand.


Author Notes

Maggie Thrash is a staff writer for Rookie, a popular online magazine for teenage girls. This is her first book. She lives in Delaware.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Camp Bellflower is obsessed with tradition. Everyone wears a uniform, chooses the same activities every year, makes the same off-the-wall silly jokes, and engages in the same petty meanness, and that's just fine with Thrash, who notes: I was used to environments where it was important for everyone to be the same. Only this time, something different clicks on in 15-year-old Thrash, and it manifests in other changes as she tries on the person she wants to be. In loose, naive-style, watercolor line drawings, Thrash recounts the summer she realized she is a lesbian and the halting moments of off-limits, quietly intense (though chaste) affection she shares with camp counselor Erin. Thrash finds both heartwarming support from her friends and smarmy disapproval from adults in the southern camp, and although she doesn't deny her burgeoning feelings, her revelation doesn't result in easy confidence, either. Though the understated artwork might not appeal to all readers, this honest, raw, and touching graphic memoir will resonate with teens coming to terms with identities of all stripes, regardless of sexual orientation.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2015 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Newcomer Thrash's graphic storytelling style, with its blank-eyed, manga-esque characters, might surprise readers accustomed to more polish. The good news is that her dialogue is so smart and snappy that a few pages in, they'll find it doesn't matter. Thrash portrays her 15-year-old self as a cynical Atlanta pre-cotillion deb who has been attending the same Appalachian sleepaway camp for years. Everything changes when a random caress from an older counselor, Erin, awakens a storm of desire. Maggie is unprepared for the turmoil of first love, and the camp is, to put it mildly, unwelcoming to teens questioning their sexuality. "Apparently they were on the tennis court," two campers gossip. "Blythe said they were pretty much doing it with a racket." Thrash writes with an intoxicating mix of candor, irony, and fresh passion. Much of the memoir's piquancy comes from the collisions between the camp's ideal of Southern womanhood, the campers' clannishness, and Maggie's faith in herself as she becomes, incongruously, the camp's best rifle shot. This is the kind of memoir that stays with readers for days. Ages 14-up. Agent: Stephen Barr, Writers House. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-In this poignant memoir, Thrash examines a pivotal summer, marked by first love, self-discovery, and some difficult realizations. At age 15, Maggie returned to Camp Bellflower for Girls, a Christian camp located in Kentucky that she'd been attending for years, and fell in love with Erin, an older counselor. She encountered hostility from narrow-minded fellow campers and adults alike, both for her same-sex attraction and for her general refusal to toe the line when she proved to be a more skilled marksman than another girl. Although she long aspired to be named Honor Girl (a distinction that each year went to the girl who most exemplified the camp's spirit), she soon began to see her seemingly fun-filled, carefree world as tight and constricting and to realize she possessed the power to forge her own identity. Like Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, authors of This One Summer (First Second, 2014), Thrash has a gift for imbuing everyday, slice-of-life moments with deeper meaning, and she effortlessly conveys the awkwardness of coming into one's own. The tone is spot-on, varying from funny and quirky to quiet and contemplative, and Thrash seamlessly weaves in light, turn-of-the-millennium pop culture touchstones like the Backstreet Boys with darker historical references (the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy). Brief interludes of heartfelt, intimately wrought text appear alongside or in between panels, and the art is raw, sketchbooklike. Readers will feel as though they're opening a scrapbook or journal rather than a more formal autobiography. VERDICT An insightful and thought-provoking work.-Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.