Recommendation Tuesday started as a joke and is now an official thing. If you've got a book to recommend on this or any Tuesday, tweet me at @FullShelves and I'll help spread the word.
I have been on a graphic novel and comics binge of epic proportions lately, burning up my Multnomah County Library card at a furious rate with all checkouts. I've read a ton of good ones, but one that sticks out and I'm going to have to pick up for my forever and always shelf is Laura Lee Gulledge's Page by Paige.
Paige Turner (yes, she has a punny name) has move to New York from Virginia and adjusting to her new life isn't as easy as it is for her parents. A quiet introvert, Paige starts keeping a diary-style sketchbook of her life, her worries and her hopes--and it scares her to death.
At her new school, she finds people like her, who are creative and artistic and she slowly brings her art and herself into the open.
Page by Paige is, simply, one of the best narratives of the internal life of an introvert that I've read. She's intensely reflective, working out her interactions with her parents and her new friends. Under the surface, what she reveals via her sketchbook, is a person full of questions and ideas. As she lets in her new friends, it's wonderful to see her share pieces of herself.
Paige suffers from anxiety, which the move to a new, busy city exacerbates this. These moments are primarily depicted through large-scale drawings, like the one below.
I am really sensitive about the way mental illness is portrayed in fiction and Gulledge's art is so respectful and authentic, trumping most traditional prose portrayals of anxiety I've read. In this respective, Page by Paige exemplifies the power of the graphic novel medium, and how immersive it can be.
The artwork is brilliant--black and white can sometimes feel a bit cold to me, but Gulledge's art is incredibly vibrant. It's very tonal and she plays with the scale of the panels, which help the story's pacing in a subtle, appealing way.
If you're not a big sequential art fan, or just haven't given graphic novels a try, Page by Paige would be a great introduction to the format. Introverts and artistic folks will more than likely see themselves in Page's story, and this would be a great gift book for the teens in your life.
Can you tell that Page by Paige has rocketed onto my favorites list? Read it and share it--I promise you'll love it.