Rule #1 for surviving school:
Don’t get noticed by the mean kids.
Rule #2 for surviving school:
Seek out groups with similar interests and join them.
Penelope – Peppi- Torres’s first day of school doesn’t go as well as she hoped. When she trips in the hall, and she’s helped by a quiet boy, Jaime Thompson, she’s already broken the first rule, and the mean kids start calling her the ‘nerder girlfriend.’ How does she handle the crisis? By shoving Jamie and running away!
Falling back on rule two, she surrounds herself with new friends in the art club, but Peppi still feels ashamed about how she treated Jaime. Things are awkward enough between the two, but to make makes worse, he’s a member of the science club – her club’s archrivals. When the two clubs go to war, Peppi must realize that you have to break the rules to survive middle school.
For starters, it’s horrible that she pushed away someone who was trying to help her. But we’ve all had that moment where we panic and, without thinking, we do something we regret. And I can understand why it took her so long to apologize. She was scared. We were all scared in middle school, and anyone who says they weren’t is a liar.
I think mean kids make fun of smart kids because they are jealous of how smart they are, and they know the smart people will be making all the money someday.
I hate how schools are cutting down on the Arts. Do they not realize that almost everything is art? Books are art, buildings are art, movies are art. (Do you know how much money is made in the movie business? It’s a lot.)
The artwork in this story is beautiful. Be sure to read the back pages of the book to learn about the author, how she created the characters, and her drawing process. As a comic drawer myself, I found her process fascinating.