Early Book Review: CiCi's Journal: The Adventures of a Writer-in-Training by Joris Chamblain

CiCi's Journal: The Adventures of a Writer-in-Training by Joris Chamblain is currently scheduled for release on November 7 2017. 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 format; 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's Journal: The Adventures of a Writer-in-Training is part graphic novel and part journal style novel. I think that this combination, along with the solid character work by Chamblain will make this a fun read for middle grade and older readers. Cici is a girl on a mission, she want to learn everything she can about other people's secrets because it will help her learn how to write about people better. I like that she has to deal with friend and family issues, and that most of them feel completely authentic. I enjoyed the mysteries that she solves, and that while she might complicate her relationships in the process, she works to make them better and still grow as a person, and a friend. Her fears, and need to ferret out the hidden details of the world around her spoke to me, a stubborn researcher that cannot let go of a question until I find an answer. I think the art style is lovely, although some of the pages did not come over correctly in the digital galley I read, so I assume that the final version reads even better than the copy I read. This was a great read all around, and I think it will find a dedicated fan base. I only fear for the parents and teachers that will deal with readers that might start emulating Cici's detecting drive, but am hopeful for those that might take the idea of writing themselves to heart. 

CiCi's Journal: The Adventures of a Writer-in-Training is a book that made me smile. It reminded me of Harriet the Spy in the best of ways, and still felt new and fresh. I think this will appeal to a number of readers. 
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