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Modern Age

Author: Copeland, Cynthia L.
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Time Period: Modern Age
Time Frame: 1972
Geographic Area: North America
Country: USA
Topics: Writing, Journalism
Genre: Fiction
Reading Age: Middle Grade, Upper Middle Grade
Format: Graphic Novel
Published: 2020

American History > Modern Age > 1970s

A laugh-out-loud funny and empowering graphic memoir about growing up and finding your voice.

Twelve-year-old Cindy has just dipped a toe into seventh-grade drama—with its complicated friendships, bullies, and cute boys—when she earns an internship as a cub reporter at a local newspaper in the early 1970s. A (rare) young female reporter takes Cindy under her wing, and Cindy soon learns not only how to write a lede, but also how to respectfully question authority, how to assert herself in a world run by men, and—as the Watergate scandal unfolds—how brave reporting and writing can topple a corrupt world leader. Searching for her own scoops, Cindy doesn’t always get it right, on paper or in real life. But whether she’s writing features about ghost hunters, falling off her bicycle and into her first crush, or navigating shifting friendships, Cindy grows wiser and more confident through every awkward and hilarious mistake.

Emily's Review

I've discovered a new favorite genre - middle-grade memoirs. This story follows Cynthia, who is busy trying to hide at school to avoid the bullies. She loves to write, but in the 1970s, her parents don't give her encouragement to follow her dreams the same way that they do her little brothers. But when a teacher notices her talent and matches her up with the only woman reporter at their local newspaper she discovers that girls can do anything they set their mind to.

In some ways, this reminded me a bit of El Deafo - another graphic memoir set in the 1970s. We follow Cynthia as she navigates girlhood, crushes, friendships, and mean girls. I love watching a shy character come into her own and learn to stand up for herself. I also really loved the way Cynthia learns to hone her writing and photography skills. There are so many great rabbit trails you could follow while reading this story!

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