Becoming Brianna is a fun story about becoming yourself and learning about your own beliefs, and what you want to do vs what you want to do for others. Terri Libenson has brought Brianna back for her own (mostly) solo story. The events of this book are taking place while the previous book is also happening. However, you are not seeing those events, they are just mentioned. And while it would be a good idea to read the previous books, this graphic novel is a standalone story. It is simple, straight forward. The “then and nows” (as Brianna has flashbacks and “back to the present” moments) are clearly marked and you know who is who and what is going on. It is a comfortable read.
|Ages (strong) eight to nine up to around 13 or 14-years-old would be the best audience. The trials of middle school, friendship issues, having a bat mitzvah, dealing with divorced parents and crushes are all relatable (even if you have never had a bat mitzvah, we have all had an event we probably did for our parent/parents and not completely for ourselves). Brianna is an Everyone. She has hopes, dreams and fears. She laughs, cries, and just keeps on keeping on.
The illustrations are simple, colorful, and while not crowded, do not skimp on the details. Libenson’s books are reminiscent of Jennifer L. Holm and Michael Holm, Raina Telegmeier, Babysitters Club, Shannon Hale’s Best Friends series. They do seem to be aimed at “girl reads” but Truly Tyler is due in May-June of this year, focusing on one of the male characters. One of the interesting facts of this series, they can overlap, and characters come into play from other books.
Do not miss the rest of the Emmie & Friends series: Invisible Emmie, Positively Izzy, Just Jaime, Becoming Brianna, and You-Niquely You: An Emmie & Friends Interactive Journal!