Skim

Skim

Written by: Tamaki, Mariko
Illustrated by: Tamaki, Jillian
ages 14 and up / grades 9 and up

A New York Times Book Review choice as one of the 10 Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2008.

Skim is Kimberly Keiko Cameron, a not-slim, would-be Wiccan goth stuck in a private girls' school in Toronto. When a classmate's boyfriend kills himself because he was rumoured to be gay, the school goes into mourning overdrive, each clique trying to find something to hold on to and something to believe in. It's a weird time to fall in love, but that's high school, and that's what happens to Skim when she starts to meet in secret with her neo-hippie English teacher, Ms. Archer. But when Ms. Archer abruptly leaves, Skim struggles to cope with her confusion and isolation, armed with her trusty journal and a desire to shed old friendships while cautiously approaching new ones.

Depression, love, sexual identity, crushes, manipulative peers --teen life in all its dramatic complexities is explored in this touching, pitch-perfect, literary graphic masterpiece. Cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki collaborate brilliantly in this poignant glimpse into the heartache of being sixteen.


Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.7

Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem).

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.3

Describe how a particular story's or drama's plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.6

Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.

A New York Times Book Review choice as one of the 10 Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2008.

Skim is Kimberly Keiko Cameron, a not-slim, would-be Wiccan goth stuck in a private girls' school in Toronto. When a classmate's boyfriend kills himself because he was rumoured to be gay, the school goes into mourning overdrive, each clique trying to find something to hold on to and something to believe in. It's a weird time to fall in love, but that's high school, and that's what happens to Skim when she starts to meet in secret with her neo-hippie English teacher, Ms. Archer. But when Ms. Archer abruptly leaves, Skim struggles to cope with her confusion and isolation, armed with her trusty journal and a desire to shed old friendships while cautiously approaching new ones.

Depression, love, sexual identity, crushes, manipulative peers --teen life in all its dramatic complexities is explored in this touching, pitch-perfect, literary graphic masterpiece. Cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki collaborate brilliantly in this poignant glimpse into the heartache of being sixteen.


Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.7

Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem).

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.3

Describe how a particular story's or drama's plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.6

Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.

Published By Groundwood Books Ltd — Mar 1, 2010
Specifications 144 pages | 6.5 in x 10 in
Written By Mariko Tamaki is a writer and performer. Her work includes the novella Cover Me, creative non-fiction collections True Lies and Fake ID, comics Emiko Superstar (with Steve Rolston) and Skim (with Jillian Tamaki), and the young adult novel (You) Set Me On Fire. Visit Mariko Tamaki's website: http://www.marikotamaki.com Visit Mariko Tamaki's blog: http://www.marikotamaki.com/blog Follow Mariko Tamaki on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/marikotamaki
Illustrated by

JILLIAN TAMAKI is a cartoonist and illustrator from Calgary, Alberta, who now lives in Toronto, Ontario. Her first picture book, They Say Blue, won the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, among many other accolades. She co-created the highly acclaimed graphic novels Skim and This One Summer with Mariko Tamaki, and she is the creator of the webcomic SuperMutant Magic Academy, and Boundless, a collection of short comics for adults. She has won many awards for her work, including a Caldecott Honor, a Printz Honor, the Eisner Award, the Doug Wright Award and the Ignatz Award. Her work has also been named to the list of New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books.

Audience ages 14 and up / grades 9 and up
Reading Levels Lexile GN540L
Common Core CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.6
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.3
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.7

Winner, Ignatz Award - Outstanding Graphic Novel, 2008

Short-listed, CLA Young Adult Book of the Year Award, 2009

Winner, Doug Wright Award - Best Book, 2008

Winner, Joe Shuster Award - Writer, 2009

Long-listed, YALSA Great Graphic Novels List, 2008

Long-listed, YALSA Best YA List, 2008

Long-listed, YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers, 2008

Long-listed, Ignatz Award - Outstanding Artist, 2008

“...the expressionistic fluidity of the black and white illustrations serves the purpose of pages of prose, so that the laconic conversation of these girls and Skim's almost equally economical and intermittent diary entries ring true.” —Canadian Literature

“Being able to tap into that visceral experience, warts and all, is what makes Skim such an amazing read...A powerful and poignant story that is as perfect a synergy of words and art as you're likely to find in comics, Skim is a true gem.” —Metro

“...avoids all the cliches of a coming-of-age story...Original in every which way.” —Friends of Lulu

“...intelligent choice...a sensitive and caring portrayal of youth...universal...a complete success...[Jillian's] storytelling is solid...[and] her art is very atmospheric...” —Gay Comics List

“...traverse[s] the turbulent landscape of high school with tenderness and a keen eye for the yearning of adolescent girls...From the particularities of slang to the bigger concepts like fear and isolation, Mariko and Jillian Tamaki capture the subtle details that comprise this understated part of life...a world [in] which anyone who has ever been a teenager would be able to relate to at some level...Jillian Tamaki's use of line and shadow is effective in rendering the psychology of characters and the moody spaces they find themselves in...Formally, Skim is interesting for its varied approach to panel-use. Some pages flaunt over 10 similarly sized and shaped panels while others reveal only one (often silent) borderless image. The overall effect reveals impressive artwork and many powerful scenes...Skim is a unique piece, one not to be missed. Highly Recommended. [Skim uses] high school as a fertile setting for pungent commentary on racial, cultural, and sexual issues...The narrative, mainly in diary form, feels accurate and realistic, drenched in a sense of confusion and nihilism, and the art, influenced by Craig Thompson's Blankets (2003), reflects the spare, gloomy emotional landscape in which Skim exists. This story will appeal to many female comics fans...” —CM Magazine

“...[Skim is a] stunningly emotional graphic novel...an artful jumble that is as true-to-life as it is diffuse...unfussy and immediate...The delicately lined art alternately expands and contradicts the prose to achieve layers of meaning, tone and irony...With honesty and compassion, this innovative narrative communicates a life just beginning, open and full of possibility.” —Horn Book, STARRED REVIEW

“...[Skim] manages to avoid the usual cliches...The b/w cirt is fluid and curvy and looks like it came straight out of a sketchbook. The little details are wonderful...Highly recommended for high school graphic novel colelctions, especially those catering to girls.” —Kliatt

“...rendered delicately...Mariko's writing is assured...Skim's self-searching entries are wrenched off or lit up by the next image...Skim comes into its own, building a teenage girl mood that's struggling observant and shyly heartfelt by turns.” —Vue Weekly

Winner — YALSA Great Graphic Novels List

"...[Skim is a] stunningly emotional graphic novel...an artful jumble that is as true-to-life as it is diffuse...unfussy and immediate...The delicately lined art alternately expands and contradicts the prose to achieve layers of meaning, tone and irony...With honesty and compassion, this innovative narrative communicates a life just beginning, open and full of possibility." — Horn Book, STARRED REVIEW

"[Skim] is a convincing chronicle of a teenage outsider who has enough sense to want to stay outside...All in all, Skim offers a startlingly clear and painful view into adolescence for those of us who possess it only as a distant memory. It's a story that deepens with successive rereadings. But what will teenagers think? Maybe that they've found a bracingly honest story by a writer who seems to remember exactly what it was like to be 16 and in love for the first time." — New York Times

"Skim comes out on top...connects in every way...This graphic novel is a winner...a unique creation...Scenes are often hilarious and black-humoured as well as serious...Mariko Tamaki's prose captures an authentic adolescent voice that's dramatic, self-obsessed, funny, earnest, and sometimes glib...Skim is an unforgettable character in the tradition of Holden Caulfield-a clear social commentator on adult and adolescent behaviour whose ironic observations on social hypocrisy ring sharp and true...Illustrator Jillian Tamaki's fine draughtsmanship gives Skim a classic elegance that's missing in many other graphic novels...a powerful sense of mystical eeriness that deepens and enhances the story. Skim is a funny, poignant, memorable drama of navigating adolescence." — Quill & Quire, STARRED REVIEW

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