The Adventures of a Writer in Training

When Cici grows up, she’s going to be a writer, she just knows it. In fact, she’s started brainstorming images in her head right now! Cici’s got a nose for a good story, whether it’sabout the people in the small town she inhabits, the strange paint trails in the woods, or the strange “Mr. Mysterious” she sees walking by their treehouse every week. Even though her stories might get her into trouble, Cici’s willing to see them through to the end and follow her writer’s nose to find out the whole truth – like finding a zoo in the middle of the forest or discovering secret letters in the public library! There’s a whole world of stories to discover, but Cici’s got to remember that some of the most important stories are the ones that happen in the home. Lying to her mom and making her friends help her isn’t the best habit, even if it is in the pursuit of knowledge. Can Cici uncover the truth, patch things up with the people that matter most to her, and still accomplish her dreams? Knowing Cici, there’s going to be an interesting story behind that.

Written by Joris Chamberlain and illustrated by Aurelie Neyret, Cici’s Journal: The Adventures of a Writer in Training is a beautifully composed graphic novel that is definitely sure to be a fun read. I picked it up while at my local library (what else?) and was intrigued by the colorful illustrations, but most of all the main character, whose dreams match my own. The story in the graphic novel is clean, well-told, and very enjoyable. I was surprised by how quickly I got through this, though it’s not a particularly thick graphic novel (so for those of you who aren’t huge readers, this one’s still easy to pick through). Part of what I loved about this story is how much I see myself in the main character, but also just how lovable all of the characters are. Helped on by the colorful art, it’s hard not to grow attached to the curious Cici, sweet-tempered Lena, big-hearted Erica, wise Mrs. Flores, and Cici’s loving mom.

Before I close, I wanted to point out an issue that my father and I have both noticed with comics. It seems nowadays, like everything else, the content is not clean unless specified so, and this can be rather a disappointment. What content is created for “all ages”, as my father pointed out, is easily made to be purposely kiddy and young-age audiences. However, there are several companies whom I have noticed that produce comics that – while retaining children as the main characters – still are highly entertaining for readers of all ages. Publishers like First Second and Joe Books have produced such comics I love like The Nameless City, Mighty Jack, and Cleopatra in Space, which can and should be enjoyed by any age group.

Chime Time: What graphic novels or comics have you read that you find particularly enjoyable?

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