The Plain Janes

The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg.

This is a graphic novel featuring Jane whose life changes when she is in Metro City and a bomb falls.  She is scraped up from the incident, but profoundly affected.  Her parents move with her to the suburbs for safety.  But Jane finds it hard to fit in and continues writing to a man who was found next to her on the sidewalk when the bomb fell.  He is in a coma and no one has identified him.  Jane pours her heart out to him in letters as she slowly makes a group of friends who become the Plain Janes, and perform guerrilla art throughout their suburban community. 

This is a great book.  It has so many dimensions working together.  First, the fear of attack and the search for safey.  The finding of real friends and peers in a high school.  The need to express one’s self through art.  And it ties them all up into a very digestible and friendly bundle. 

The entire book rocks with great writing and wonderful art.  It is a graphic novel that is purely American but has the feel of manga.  I can see it being a gateway book to manga and the graphic novel genre for many teen girls. 

This one definitely deserves a place on library shelves across the country.