Rise of the tweens!

May 12, 2006

No matter where you turn, there are more examples of the increasing crossover between young adult prose and graphic novels. Newsarama has a piece on Tokyopop’s new Pop Fiction line of prose, and ICv2 picks up Del Rey’s announcement of their first original graphic novel which will feature a new adventure set in the fictional universe created by YA best-seller Terry Brooks.

Another highlight of this trend has been this week’s arrival of the first installment of Raina Telgemeier’s adaptation of Ann M. Martin’s The Baby-Sitters Club (Graphix). It’s hard to believe that this is Telgemeier’s first full-length graphic novel. She does a really splendid job with it, staying true to the source material while infusing the book with her own charm and style. It’s a terrific fit.

The story itself is a lot of fun. A group of seventh-graders form a baby-sitting service while dealing with issues like divorce, over-protective parents, sibling rivalry, and secrets. They work hard, bond, squabble, and make up — it’s packed with lots of small, relatable events and moments that accumulate into a very charming whole.

In fact, it’s so good that I think I’m going to have to donate it to the local library. It really begs to be read by its target audience, and since the local library has been a bit slow to increase its graphic novel holdings, I feel kind of stingy not passing it along.

But really, the number of graphic novel publishers targeting the YA market has really gone from a trickle to a flood, hasn’t it? If I were a parent of a tween, I don’t know if I’d be thrilled at the number of choices available or daunted by the volume of material my kid might want.