Doodles from the Boogie Down by Stephanie Rodriguez

Published by Kokila

Summary:  Steph is in eighth grade at her Bronx Catholic school, which means she and her friends are applying to New York City high schools.  Her strict Dominican mother wants her to continue at a Catholic school near home, but Steph is drawn to an arts school in Manhattan.  Since the school of her dreams requires a portfolio, not an exam, Steph decides to secretly work with her art teacher and mentor, Ms. Santiago, on a portfolio and to purposely fail the high school entrance exam.  Naturally, this plan drastically backfires, and Steph finds herself in trouble with both her school and her mother.  Fortunately, her mother, helped by her own mother, sits down and talks to Steph, resulting in a better understanding on both sides, and ultimately, Steph’s admission to the Laguardia Arts High School.  Includes a note from the creator telling more about her own life and what was the same and different from the fictional Steph.  208 pages; grades 4-7.

Pros:  Fans of graphic memoirs, especially artists, will love this new addition to the canon and will root for Steph in spite of a few less-than-great choices on her part.  

Cons:  I was bummed to learn that the real Stephanie didn’t get to go to LaGuardia High School.

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