All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson
Published by Dial Books on September 5, 2017
Genres: Children’s, Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, Contemporary
Pages: 248 Format: Hardcover Source: Library
Eleven-year-old Imogene (Impy) has grown up with two parents working at the Renaissance Faire, and she’s eager to begin her own training as a squire. First, though, she’ll need to prove her bravery. Luckily Impy has just the quest in mind–she’ll go to public school after a life of being homeschooled! But it’s not easy to act like a noble knight-in-training in middle school. Impy falls in with a group of girls who seem really nice (until they don’t) and starts to be embarrassed of her thrift shop apparel, her family’s unusual lifestyle, and their small, messy apartment. Impy has always thought of herself as a heroic knight, but when she does something really mean in order to fit in, she begins to wonder whether she might be more of a dragon after all.
Have I mentioned my intense love for all things renaissance faires and medieval explorations yet? It brings out my history nerd and makes for a great experience so I love picking up books highlighting these brilliant events. In Victoria Jamieson’s All’s Faire in Middle School, my faire addiction was fed but also presented a realistic experience of growing up and finding one’s place.
Imogene (Impy) was an outstanding MC filled with tons of enthusiasm as well as plenty of misgivings and fears. She, of course, makes plenty of mistakes along the way but constantly tries to figure out her failings and find a solution. While I’m super envious of her faire lifestyle, I was glad to see her struggle with new responsibilities and find her own way.
From bullies and cliques to over the top professors, the life of a middle schooler can be a trying time. Whether it’s finding your way in the cavernous halls, making the difficult choice of a lunch table, or finding friends among the many groups. Impy faces all these moments as well as dealing with family issues including a nagging brother and parents that don’t quite understand.
Jamieson’s writing was exceptional, crafting a narrative that flows while still letting the morals make their mark. All of it was depicted vibrantly too with a color scheme that made everything pop. While the art really stood out, the words added such depth and I couldn’t get over how much emotion this was able to evoke in me. Don’t we all remember how rough growing up can be?
Overall All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson was an absolute delight. The art style fit perfectly and the author wove plenty of Renaissance style into the pages. Both the characters and story presented an honest portrayal of the pitfalls and joys of the school years and I was enchanted all the way through. This book is perfect for all ages and I think it will resonate with children and adults alike.
Have you read All’s Faire in Middle School? Are you a fan of Renaissance Faires?
Let me know in the comments below!