Keeping it Homeschool

20130812-121221.jpgFaith Erin Hicks’s Friends with Boys is a graphic novel centering around a girl, Maggie, who is transitioning from being homeschooled into entering the tumultuous high school atmosphere. With three older brothers, Maggie hasn’t had a lot of femininity wafting around her house. In addition, her mother who homeschooled all of the kids, has left the family.

This is a great graphic novel with some serious themes that would be fun to explore in a reading group or in the classroom. Many of my international students have never heard of the idea of being homeschooled and I think this novel does a great job of showing that awkward transition from learning at home to becoming part of the ever-dramatic-and-super-cliquey high school. In addition, the subplots about the missing mother and the ghost that follows Maggie (yes, a ghost) gives another piece to Maggie’s transition.

As with most graphic novels, you have to also take the time and pay attention to the illustrations. I especially loved the portrayal of high school and how confusing and overwhelming it can be. I think this would be a great read for high school students. Hopefully, it would grab their attention and make them more interested in reading!