Graphic Novel: The Plain Janes

by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg

With lettering by Jared K. Fletcher

Published by DC Comics, 2007

Cerrin and I read this graphic novel during the late hours of the 24 Hour Read-A-Thon. We knew we needed a change of pace from our regular reading to keep us going. It was short, quick, engaging and, as we both said, sweet.

It’s a young adult/middle school story about a teenage girl, Jane. A 9/11-style catastrophe has occurred in Metro City where she lives. Her parents are afraid for her safety so they all move to the suburbs. This means Jane is away from her friends and is now the new girl at the school, the outcast.

Jane does a good job of overcoming her circumstances by gathering together other outcasts, the other plain Janes, and leading them in new activities. Working at night and in secret, they create works of art in various parts of their new town. For example, they cover various objects around town in Christmas wrapping paper, or they put soap bubbles in the fountain.

Cerrin and I agreed that young adolescents would enjoy this book. We liked the attitude displayed by Jane and the way she did not mope around about a situation she didn’t like. I liked it because the printing was easy to read and the action moved quickly. My only negative was that it was in black and white. Reading this at 2 am I could have used a bunch of bright colors.

We are both suggesting this as a good book for our almost-12-year-old granddaughter/niece. We believe she’ll like the message of this story.

The Plain Janesis available at Amazon. (I am an Amazon Associate.)

This entry was posted in 100+ Book Challenge, B Books, Book Challenges, Graphic Novels, Library Challenge, Read Together. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Graphic Novel: The Plain Janes

  1. JoAnn says:

    Great choice for the readathon, Margot! I recently read Persepolis 2 and Embroideries – will keep this in my when I’m ready for another graphic novel. It sounds like a book my preteen niece would enjoy, too!

  2. Beth F says:

    I’ve become a fan of the graphic medium so I’m happy to see reviews. I wonder if my niece has read this.

  3. This does sound like a good book! Most of the graphic novels I’ve read have been in black and white. I guess the color ones are more expensive to print.

  4. It reminds me of the “yarn bombing” pictures you see around the web (such as here: )

  5. kaye says:

    I’ve got to try a graphic novel someday. I used to read “Archie and Jughead” It had a similar look to this one.

  6. candice says:

    great review, i will check this out for Q. gotta love pre-teen girl-power stories…

  7. candice says:

    @ rhapsodyinbooks — thanks for the link! i didn’t know it was called yarn-bombing, i love it! we have some of that happening in portland, OR and recently we’ve seen fabric wrapped around trees on a popular biking street, plus some fun graphics painted in the bike lanes. why not?

  8. Staci says:

    I’ve been meaning to read this one!! I like color too. The only one that I felt was fine in b/w was Maus I and II.

  9. I can actually imagine that this would be different enough to keep you more alert in the final hours of the ReadAThon. I dunno though — I just can’t get into the idea of gtraphic novels yet. You’ve almost converted me to short stories though, so who knows, given enough time…..

  10. Cerrin says:

    I really liked this one. It was very uplifting and I really felt for the characters. I didn’t get the feel that the author was dumbing it down for kids either. I hate it when they do that.

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