If you need a little bit of a pep me up or something to bolster your spirits as you prepare to take on the brand new challenge of middle school, I think I may have found something for you. The follow up in a series staring with the graphic novel Awkward, this newest installment is both touching and hilarious.

Jensen Graham is going to save the world. Sure, he’s probably not the most likely kid one might think of to do so, but with his zombie survival guide in one pocket and library card in the other, Jensen is prepared for anything. Well, anything so long as it’s not math class or the bullying duo of Foster and Yanic. But, never fear – Jensen has a plan to beat every level of the school game and even a couple of mean kids can’t stop him from achieving his dream of becoming a NASA scientist. At least, that’s what he thinks before he receives a failing grade in math. For Jensen, math tutoring with one of the mean kids is one of his worst nightmares and it just gets worse as his newest friends from the newspaper team (Jenny, Akilah, and Felipe) try to convince him to speak out about the bullying he’s experienced. Can he speak up and say what he really feels? Or will Jensen never find it in himself to stand up and be…brave?

Once more Svetlana Chmakova has proven she knows how to write a story. Her art is full of stylized sweethearts whom it’s rather hard not to fall in love with, especially Jensen. He’s just a big teddy bear and I like how despite the fact that he’s being bullied, he wants to be kind to the bullies. Also, I find it hilarious that he views each day of middle school as a level of an intense game filled with monsters and bonus prizes; it makes it that much fun to read. I highly recommend this read, especially for parents and children to read through together so they can spark thinking of bullying and perhaps begin constructive discussions.

Question! What kind of video game would you compare your school too? Was it like Mario Karts where everyone was racing each other to be the best? Or was it more like Super Smash Bros. where it’s a fight to survive?


1 Tim 4:12 - GenZ and unapologetically in love with Christ - sharing Y O U R stories - beauty from ashes

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