On occasion I like to read a graphic novel between all the books. I like both adapted graphic novels from books or a completely new story. As I've mentioned before I work at a school library where I luckily enough have a few of these and order in when I find something interesting.. One of my favourites is a series originally written in french but it's translated to both english and norwegian (my language).
Who is Aya?
Aya is a young girl living in Youpogoun in the Ivory Coast in the 1970s. She's like most teenage girls, she's interested in boys, have dreams, her is becoming a doctor, and to hang out with friends. The Ivory Coast was a economic powerhouse in the 60s and 70s due to the production of cocoa and coffee unfortunately followed by an economic crisis in the 80s. The writer of this novel was a teenager herself in the 70s and wanted to tell this story to present Africa in a different way than what is normal, a continent dominated by civil wars, poverty and hunger. Because all over Africa there are teenage girls just like Aya and the the author herself with universal emotions of love and jealousy that sneaks out after dark to secret meetings with boys.
I think Margaret Abouet does a wonderful job telling this story. It is a story about all the things most teenage girls are all about and it's told with a lot of humour, almost like in a sit-com, in an exagerated way. The girls are a bit to hysterical, the boys a bit to stupid and lazy...
The drawings by Clément Oubrerie are very lively, beautiful and colourful and really sets the mood. I really enjoyed this and fortunately this is only the first book about Aya and there are so far five more to go.
The book has a preface which tells you more about the backgroun of the story, the Ivory Coast in the 70s, and an Ivorian bonus at the end with someglossary and recipes.
From the school library