January 07, 2020
Twelve-year-old Cindy has just dipped a toe into seventh-grade drama—with its complicated friendships, bullies, and cute boys—when she earns an internship as a cub reporter at a local newspaper in the early 1970s. A (rare) young female reporter takes Cindy under her wing, and Cindy soon learns not only how to write a lede, but also how to respectfully question authority, how to assert herself in a world run by men, and—as the Watergate scandal unfolds—how brave reporting and writing can topple a corrupt world leader. Searching for her own scoops, Cindy doesn’t always get it right, on paper or in real life. But whether she’s writing features about ghost hunters, falling off her bicycle and into her first crush, or navigating shifting friendships, Cindy grows wiser and more confident through every awkward and hilarious mistake.
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
The details of school, fashion, home life, and sociopolitical events are all covered in an engaging and interesting way. The fact that this is a graphic novel actually helps tremendously with the understanding of what the world looked like at this point in history. I loved the reported with the VW Beetle, and yes, Cindy's parents probably would have been totally fine with her tagging along. This was also rather poignant-- in the 1970s, writing was still something that one could use for a career. I am always worried for journalism majors now!
Young readers will not only gain an understanding of the historical period, but relate to Cindy's standard tween issues of school, friends, and boys. Fitting in is a huge concern at this age, and Cindy's difficulties are still ones with which young people struggle.
This was definitely a white, middle class story, but also a great feminist one. Like Holms' Sunny books, this one made me ridiculously happy, since it covers a period of time during my own childhood. Will probably purchase at least two copies. I do sort of wish the cover were avocado green, though. Or maybe purple. Or orange. Better if it were a plaid of all three-- that would have captured the colors of the time! I was a little surprised that girls wore jeans to school; we weren't allowed until 1976.
Since the one hundredth anniversary of women's right to vote is coming up, start collecting books on that topic, and start with the fantastic Cub.
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