Queen Bee (amazon)
I was very excited when I heard that Chynna Clugston was going to write a book for Scholastic’s new Graphix line. I think the major comics publishers have done a less than steller job developing series for young readers, although DC at least has all the cartoon tie-ins with the DC Kids line. Queen Bee has many of the elements that you’d expect in Clugston’s work — there’s a strong musical component, and a cool character who has slightly retro tastes in pop culture. I guess if I had to sum up the storyline in just a few words, I’d call this book “telekinetic middle school mean girls.”
Haley has found herself exiled to nerdsville, and when she transfers to a new school she decides to seize the opportunity to project a new image. The only problem is that Haley has telekinetic powers that flare up when she gets nervous or upset, and there are plenty of opportunities for emotional trauma in middle school. Haley does manage to infiltrate the most popular group of girls in school (aka “The Hive). Just when things are going well, a new girl named Alexa starts going to her school! Is there room in middle school for two tekekinetic girls who want to be the most popular?!
Queen Bee has all the humor you’d expect from the author of Blue Monday. Haley is a very sympathetic character as she begins to realize that popularity might not be all that she thought it would be, but she’s not a goody-goody. She turns to her powers to smooth her way through a few situations, but things don’t always work out. This would be a great book to have in a school or public library, and I hope the Graphix line keeps turning out more great comics for kids.