Title: Cici’s Journal
Author: Joris Chamblain, Aurélie Neyret
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, Contemporary, Mystery
Publisher: First Second
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: July 20, 2021
Cici dreams of being a novelist. Her favorite subject: people, especially adults. She’s been watching them and taking notes. Everybody has one special secret, Cici figures, and if you want to write about people, you need to understand what’s hiding inside them. But now she’s discovered something truly strange: an old man who disappears into the forest every Sunday with huge pots of paint in all sorts of colors. What is he up to? Why does he look so sad when he comes back?
In a graphic novel interwoven with journal notes, scrapbook pieces, and doodles, Cici assembles clues about the odd and wonderful people she’s uncovered, even as she struggles to understand the mundane: her family and friends.
Cici dreams of becoming a writer, so her author friend tells her to watch people and make up stories about them. Cici notices a man carrying paint cans into the woods every weekend, and she needs to find out what he’s doing. She follows him and eventually discovers a beautiful secret. In another mystery, Cici finds a library book card for a book that has been taken out by the same woman over and over again. Cici’s curiosity takes over again and she has to investigate why the woman keeps reading the same book.
Cici was quite a curious child. She often seemed nosy, when she would watch people and want to find out what they were doing. I didn’t really like this quality, but Cici ended up helping the people who she investigated, so it worked out in the end.
I liked that this story featured elderly characters. There aren’t a lot of older people in children’s books. Cici was able to help them relive their pasts and create some nice memories. Though Cici was nosy, she ended up helping people.
Cici’s Journal is a good middle grade graphic novel.
Thank you First Second for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
The Case of the Loathsome School Lunches by Angie Lake
Premeditated Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Have you read Cici’s Journal? What did you think of it?