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Skim

by Mariko  Tamaki
Illustrated by Jillian Tamaki

Published by Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press, 2008
141 pages
ISBN: 978-0888997531

14 and up

Podcast featuring this book

In this slice-of-life graphic novel, high school student Kimberly Keiko Cameron (nicknamed Skim) is a Wicca in training who feels out of place in the Catholic girls' school she attends ("my school=goldfish tank of stupid"). Her teachers and classmates are all a-flutter because the ex-boyfriend of one of the students, Katie, has committed suicide. When Katie shows up a few days later with two broken arms, the rumor circulates that she jumped off a roof in a suicide attempt of her own. The school goes into overdrive with special counseling sessions, a gigantic collaged sympathy card for Katie, and the establishment of a new club, Girls Celebrate Life (GCL). Skim is one of the students marked for special help because she refuses to participate in these activities, and she seems to be sad, lonely, and a bit depressed. And she is, but not over the suicide -- just in normal adolescent ways: she and her best friend, Lisa, are clearly growing apart, and Skim has a massive crush on Ms. Archer, her English teacher -- a crush that is not completely unrequited. After the two of them share a kiss, Ms. Archer begins to put a professional distance between herself and her student, something that makes life even more difficult for Skim. This serio-comic graphic novel delves beneath the superficial every-day activities in high school to show the innermost thoughts and feeling of a single outsider student who's struggling to endure it all. (KTH) ©2008 Cooperative Children’s Book Center


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