Honor Girl: A Graphic Memoir (HB)
All-girl camp. First love. First heartbreak. At once romantic and devastating, brutally honest and full of humor, this graphic-novel memoir is a debut of the rarest sort.
Maggie Thrash has spent basically every summer of her fifteen-year-old life at the one-hundred-year-old Camp Bellflower for Girls, set deep in the heart of Appalachia. She’s from Atlanta, she’s never kissed a guy, she’s into Backstreet Boys in a really deep way, and her long summer days are full of a pleasant, peaceful nothing . . . until one confounding moment. A split-second of innocent physical contact pulls Maggie into a gut-twisting love for an older, wiser, and most surprising of all (at least to Maggie), female counselor named Erin. But Camp Bellflower is an impossible place for a girl to fall in love with another girl, and Maggie’s savant-like proficiency at the camp’s rifle range is the only thing keeping her heart from exploding. When it seems as if Erin maybe feels the same way about Maggie, it’s too much for both Maggie and Camp Bellflower to handle, let alone to understand.
Thrash's remembrances are evinced with clear, wide-eyed illustrations colored with a dreamily vibrant palette. She has so carefully and skillfully captured a universal moment the first time one realizes that things will never be the same that readers will find her story captivating. A luminescent memoir not to be missed. Kirkus Reviews (starred review) In this poignant memoir, Thrash examines a pivotal summer, marked by first love, self-discovery, and some difficult realizations...The tone is spot-on, varying from funny and quirky to quiet and contemplative, and Thrash seamlessly weaves in light, turn-of-the-millennium pop culture touchstones like the Backstreet Boys with darker historical references (the "Don t Ask, Don t Tell" policy)... An insightful and thought-provoking work. School Library Journal (starred review) Thrash writes with an intoxicating mix of candor, irony, and fresh passion. Much of the memoir s piquancy comes from the collisions between the camp s ideal of Southern womanhood, the campers clannishness, and Maggie s faith in herself as she becomes, incongruously, the camp s best rifle shot. This is the kind of memoir that stays with readers for days. Publishers Weekly (starred review) This honest, raw, and touching graphic memoir will resonate with teens coming to terms with identities of all stripes, regardless of sexual orientation. Booklist [Wipes away tear.] "Honor Girl" is, all at once, heartachey (but never precious), dry-witted (but not cynical), and incredibly beautiful. Maggie Thrash has not only given us a unique addition to the canon of intelligent-young-woman-centered comics, but a reminder of the rewards of opening yourself up and exposing your own vulnerability in love and in writing. Tavi Gevinson Though I am neither a teenage girl nor a lesbian, I found this story super-real and relatable. Ira Glass, host of This American Life Honest, funny, and so real you can smell summer camp while you read it, Maggie Thrash s "Honor Girl" hits dead center. A.S. King, award-winning author of Ask the Passengers and Glory O Brien s History of the Future "Honor Girl" beautifully portrays the awkward excitement and heartbreak of first and forbidden love. I couldn t put it down, even while my heart was aching. I loved this book! Jo Knowles, author of See You at Harry s and Read Between the Lines"
Maggie Thrash is a staff writer for "Rookie, " a popular online magazine for teenage girls. This is her first book. She lives in Delaware.