Cub first came on my radar when our events person in our sister store said she had to order several copies of this book for an event they were doing. I looked up Cynthia L. Copeland’s book and say it was going to be a cute, middle-school (ages 8/9 to 14) book. I did not notice the choice of clothing until after I read it about a month later (or last night).
Cub is a familiar coming of age story (dealing with family, friends, school, bullies, boyfriends and more) plus with historical issues of the early 1970’s thrown in to really mix things up (Watergate, Richard Nixon as a president, women’s rights, Vietnam, even having a young man win a baking contest). While it focuses more on Cindy herself and her becoming a cub reporter, there is the school drama (bullies, boyfriends, the “weird kid,” the new girl, friendships changing) but all of it is there to show the growth of the character.
Based on author’s own experiences as a cub reporter during her high school years, this graphic novel is a known theme, but presents it in a fresh manner. The illustrations are the main driving force, but there can be much in the way of text when needed. In fact, entire pages can be covered in both art and text. The set up of the story is part scrapbook/journal and part “as we are living it” points of view. The newspaper articles are shown but can be cut off as the article is not the story, but the headline of byline is. This is a clever way of showing the history and what Cindy is writing/being part of. While it is for the middle-school crowd, it has a slightly more sophisticated feel to it than say Sunny did, though the story and events are similar.