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Skim    by Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki order for
by Mariko Tamaki
Order:  USA  Can
Anansi, 2008 (2008)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Skim, by cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, is a graphic novel coming of age narrated by sixteen-year-old goth Kimberly Keiko Cameron (aka Skim). As the story opens, her parents are separated, she has just broken her arm, and she shares her diary musings about life, the universe, her private girls' school, and her best friend Lisa.

Lisa and Skim go to a coven/AA meeting, and later deal with the school's over-organized aftereffects (guidance counselling, a mosaic of mourning, a Girls Celebrate Life club, etc.) of the suicide of a fellow student's ex-boyfriend who is rumored to have been gay.

Skim is attracted to her drama teacher, Ms. Archer, who leaves the school part way through the term. Skim is also depressed and people worry about her. Skim and Lisa argue about Romeo and Juliet, and go to a dance with 'serious debate team geeks'. Lisa falls in love. And Skim makes a surprising new friend, someone who understands not being understood.

Anyone who was ever an outsider in high school, or a critical thinker questioning the trite and mundane, will relate to this beautifully illustrated (in black and white) graphic slice of high school life.

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