Written & Illustrated By: Terri Libenson
For Ages: MG
Topics Covered: Friendship, Growing Up, Self-Reflection, Social-Emotional Learning, Journaling.
Summary: You fine folx might remember a few months ago I shared a graphic novel about a young Jewish girl with anxiety getting ready for her Bat Mitzvah. The book is part of a larger series called Emmie & Friends! Today, I share a related book but with a twist!
Author and illustrator Terri Libenson has created an interactive journal for fans of the series! I used to love books like this when I was younger (I also went through a phase where I liked filling out applications and questionnaires, but we’re not here to talk about that right now). In the journal, different characters discuss various social-emotional and friendship dilemmas, as well as the importance of knowing yourself through and through. You-Niquely You strikes a delicate balance of silly activities like designing your own ice cream flavor to drawing a comic about conflict resolution with a friend.
This journal is slightly different from what we typically share, but I believe that young people need outlets for their emotions, and we are all too aware how the last 7 months or so have impacted everyone on a global and catastrophic scale. Having these outlets is so crucial for emotional processing, and this journal combines critical thinking, best friends, and creativity to bring middle graders something that is uniquely them (see what I did there).
This journal was kindly sent by Harper Kids, but all opinions are my own!
Terri Libenson (pronounced LEE-ben-son) is a bestselling children’s book author and award-winning cartoonist of the syndicated daily comic strip, The Pajama Diaries, which ran from 2006-2020. She was also an award-winning humorous card writer for American Greetings.
Terri graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a BFA in illustration and a minor in art history. She developed her first professional comic strip, Got a Life, in 2000, which was distributed by King Features Weekly Service. The Pajama Diaries launched with King Features in 2006 and ran in hundreds of newspapers internationally until its retirement in January, 2020. Pajama Diaries has been nominated four times for the Reuben Award for “Best Newspaper Comic Strip” by the National Cartoonists Society and won in 2016. You can read the Pajama Diaries archives daily on ComicsKingdom.