Though Skim is listed under children’s books, it is meant for young readers and teenagers as Mariko Tamaki’s graphic novel is set in an all-girl’s academy with a protagonist that goes through life’s little rough patches as a teenager. Skim is actually Kimberly Keiko Cameron, a bit of an outsider within her school who would like a little more acceptance.
There is a lot more going on than just the typical coming of age tale. Brought to life by the wonderful black and white drawings of Jillian Tamaki, the hero of the story must deal with just about every potential teen drama and life issue. Kimberly faces the typical problem of developing a crush, but this is compounded heavily by her crush falling on one of her teachers, Ms. Archer. As a goth, she has to deal with the distressing weight of dealing with popular school cliques. The subject of suicide even slips into the story as well as depression and love.
Though the book matter sounds deep and heavy, Skim comes with sharp dialogue and scattered bits of the hilarious that will make readers ride the ups and downs with the heroine. Happy times as well as low points are found within its pages, bringing forth the days of high school that young people can relate to. Jillian Tamaki’s pen and brushed drawings bring simplicity as well as emotion into the story, adding in an extra element that words cannot express.
While the book may not be for everyone, those who do read it may find a little bit of themselves somewhere inside and it will give them comfort in knowing they’re not alone.