Thompson, C. (2005). Blankets. Marietta, GA: Top Shelf. 582 pages.
Say hello to my first graphic novel review. Today I was talking with Mrs. Drotar about how I wanted to buy some graphic novels in the future, and she mentioned that we already have some, but they are stashed away in the office and available to those students who ask for them. Time to bust them out, I say. But of course I am curious as to why we keep them in the office and not on the shelves, so I figured I would read some. Publisher’s Weekly calls this a “memoir” so it is based on Thompson’s own life, but not everything in the novel necessarily took place. The main character’s name is Craig, though. Synopsis: Craig has been a bit of a social outcast his whole life, sexually abused by (unless I am missing something here) an unidentified older male (family friend? huh? what? who is this person?), manhandled and alienated by his country bumpkin classmates, and pressured by his parents, pastor, and parish to accept Christianity on all levels. Craig meets Raina at Bible camp, and they end up exchanging letters and planning a visit at Raina’s house in Michigan (Craig lives in Wisconsin). Okay, I just have to say this: Craig’s parents really let him take 4 days off school to pay a visit to his “friend” (his parents don’t realize that they are more than friends). Seriously? My parents would NEVER have let me do that when I was in high school. Anyway, every time Craig has a somewhat sexual thought about being with Raina, he is inundated with images and quotations from the Bible that make him feel guilty. I am finding it hard to come to a conclusion on what I think of this novel because I am really not familiar with the graphic novel format. Yes, there are some sexual scenes, but certainly nothing more than what you would see watching The Tudors on HBO. I was really more annoyed by the constant Bible verses thrown at me.. I get it, Craig, you are resentful because you had Christianity forced upon you. Regardless, I do like having the graphic novels at least an option for the students, so as soon as I can make some room somewhere, look for it out on the shelves.