Although written for 8-12 year old readers, Cub will raise a sense of déjà vu in anyone who reads this marvelous graphic memoir. Parallels of the US in 1972/3 and now are striking.
Cynthia L. Copeland
January 7, 2020
Algonquin Young Readers
Blurb: 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.
Big changes await Cindy in her 12th year, from discovering that she is a good writer and going on assignments with a female reporter to cute boys to learning about friendships. Cynthia L. Copeland’s graphic memoir, Cub, struck a chord with me.
The graphics and writing are humorous, depicting Cindy’s life and indirectly the world around her with its hippies, a war ending, a President in disgrace, women who aren’t being taken seriously, the environment, and Earth Day. While Cindy navigates friendships and mean girls and cute boys, she has her eyes opened to the larger world.
I happily read Cub in one sitting. While I don’t read many graphic novels, ones like this could easily convince me to read more. Many emotions swept through me as I was lost in Cindy’s story, but mostly I felt happiness and optimism despite the fact that many of the problems that existed in 1972 don’t seem to have been solved in a satisfactory way, if at all. I did love that kids played outside and weren’t beguiled by technology nor being forced to have a social calendar that rivals the Queen’s.
Copeland has an easy, friendly way of writing. Young Cindy made me remember what it was like to be 12 years old and negotiating the landmines of 7th grade social drama.
I think Cub would be an empowering read for any 12 year old because it’s a story about finding yourself. Cindy had the wonderful, multi-faceted Mrs. Schulz to guide her, and then young reporter, Leslie Jacobs, and I hope that young people today have similar mentors in their lives.
You don’t have to be 12 to enjoy this marvelous book!
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
5 out of 5 butterflies
About the Author:
Cynthia (“Cindy”) L. Copeland is the New York Times best-selling, award-winning author/illustrator of more than 25 books for adults and children. She has sold over a million books in seven languages and her books have been recommended by Oprah, Regis Philbin, Ann Landers, and the hosts of Good Morning America. In 2011, she became Coca-Cola’s “spokesmom” for the company’s Family Night program. Before her first book was published at age 29, Cindy worked as an editor and as a newspaper journalist. She’s a graduate of Smith College.
Cindy lives in rural New Hampshire with her family.