Let’s be honest, middle school sucks in more ways than we can count. Which is probably why so many of us relate to the plight of outsider-turned-insider-turned-outsider-again heroines like Cady Haron of Mean Girls, Heathers‘ Veronica Sawyer, or Laney Boggs of She’s All That. And seeing how a lot of our kids are now hitting that phase of life (ugh)  I’m betting a lot of them will fall in love with the new graphic novel from Roller Girl author Victoria Jamieson.

That’s because her latest title, All’s Faire in Middle School delves into those tween/teen issues that are so universal: peer pressure, acceptance, inclusivity (or lack thereof), and feeling like you have a really, really weird family.
And hey, if your kids think their parents were weird, get this: Imogene, the heroine of All’s Faire, literally grew up in a Renaissance Faire before making the Grand Canyon-size leap from homeschooling to public middle school.

If that’s not enough to make a kid sweat through their Teen Spirit, I don’t know what is.

Related: 10 graphic novels loaded with girl power. Let’s hear it for more roar!

All's Faire in Middle School: Excellent new graphic novel by Victoria Jamieson

As I read about Imogene’s struggle to be her own authentic, joust-loving, cosplaying self in a culture that tends to punish rather than celebrate diversity, I kept wanting to tell her to just hang on until young adulthood. Because those traits that make you a pariah in middle school often make you the most interesting person in any room when you hit adulthood.
But of course, this can be a hard lesson to convey to kids in the thick of their own middle school drama who are figuring out who they are and what they want to be. Which is why I think that reading about how Imogene perseveres through social challenges All’s Faire in Middle School will be so helpful to so many of our own preteens.
Let’s just say that Impy manages to put her offbeat upbringing and the honorable traits of knighthood to excellent use. Huzzah!

You can find All’s Faire in Middle School at our affiliate Amazon, your local library or your favorite independent bookstore.