The High School Chronicles of Ariel Schrag

Graphic Novel - 2008
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Ariel Schrag continues her tumultuous passage through high school in the second book of her acclaimed series of frank, insightful, and painfully honest autobiographical graphic novels. Written during the summer following her junior year at Berkeley High School in California, Potential recounts Ariel's first real relationship and first-time love with a girl, her quest to lose her virginity to a boy, and her parents' divorce -- as well as the personal and social complications of writing about her life as she lives it. Along the way she hangs out with her favorite teacher, obsesses over clothes, gets drunk, smokes pot, and tries to connect the biology she reads about in textbooks with the biology she's living.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2008, c1997.
Edition: First Touchstone trade pbk. edition
ISBN: 9781416552352
Branch Call Number: GN 373.18 SCHRAG A
Characteristics: 224 pages : chiefly illustrations ; 28 cm.


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Jul 19, 2010

My favourite of Schrag's graphic novels. So full of angst, longing, depression, love, lust, longing, a desire to follow societal norms while breaking them too, and did I mention longing?

Sep 18, 2009

Using comic strip format, Schrag documented her experiences as she went through her high school years in Berkley, California during the mid-90s. She sold photocopies to her fellow students at the time. Her freshman (Grade 9) year is appropriately summed up with the title Awkward. Sophmore year - in which Schrag sorts out whether her sexual identity is bisexual or lesbian - is called Definition. These two are now collected into one volume, published by Simon & Schuster in 2008.

Potential covers Grade 11, Schrag's junior year. She has her first real relationship with a girl and covers all the other things going on in her teenage life: her parent's divorce, getting drunk and stoned, her desire to have sex with a boy, studying for school, and the importance of the right clothes. Passion, confusion, insecurity - Schrag lays herself bare, sometimes literally. Her autobiographical work is gutsy, fresh and funny.

In an homage to Alison Bechdel's book store scenes in Dykes to Watch Out For comics, Schrag changes the titles of the books on the shelves in her bedroom from panel to panel. Stuart Little becomes the lesbian classic Rubyfruit Jungle. The Celluloid Closet transforms into The Good Mother in the panel where Schrag's mother pops her head in the doorway.

I look forward to the final installment of Schrag's high school chronicles, Likewise, which was published earlier this year


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