Thompson, Craig. Blankets. Top Shelf Productions, 2003. 582 pages. ISBN 978-1-60309-096-4
Craig grew up in a home with incredibly religious parents. He shared a room, bed, and blanket with his younger brother. They were pretty close, they would play games and pretend adventures when they couldn’t sleep. As time went on they grew apart a little and didn’t talk nearly as much as they used to. Craig was a loner and an outcast at school. He went to a bible camp and met some other outcasts there. One of which was Raina, the first girl Craig fell in love with. They lived quite the distance from each other, so called each other when they could. Craig’s religious beliefs started changing and then during the winter Craig decide to take a trip to Raina’s place and stay with her for a couple weeks. He got to meet her big family and discovered that she had two adopted siblings with mental illnesses and has to take care of them all the time. Craig has the time of his life while staying with Raina and he really loves her. So, how did everything change all of a sudden?
This is an autobiographical graphic novel form that brings us through Craig Thompson’s life as he was coming of age and experienced his first love. Growing up in a religious family, his parents were very strict and devoutly Christian. He was very close to his brother who he had to share a room and a measly blanket with. After meeting Raina and her group of friends at a bible camp Thompson starts struggling with his Christianity and what it all means. By the end of his chronicles Thompson is no longer a Christian. I think he sends an important message to his readers that it is important to choose for yourself who you are, not be who others want you to be. He may have grown up as a Christian because his parents were devoutly so, but that does not mean that he has to continue believing what they believe and he can instead believe as he wishes. This is a wonderful coming of age story as well about first loves and dealing with sexuality that all teen go through. Also, putting this story into graphic novel form makes it more appealing to some reluctant readers.
Craig never really fit in with anybody else, at least not until he met Raina. Then his whole life changed.
Craig Matthew Thompson was born in Traverse City, Michigan in 1975 and is a graphic novelist. He and his brother grew up in Marathon, Wisconsin in a heavily Christan home. His Father was a plumber, and his mother either worked as a stay at home mom or a visiting nurse assistant for the disabled. He is best known for his books Good-Bye, Chunky Rice, Blankets, Carnet de Voyage, and Habibi, recently published. He received four Harvey Awards, two Eisner Awards, and two Ignatz Awards. In 2007, he did the cover design for the Menomena album Friend and Foe which received a Grammy nomination for Best Recodrding Package.
In high school he dreamed of becoming either a small-town artist or a film animator. He went to the University of Wisconsin in Marathon County for three semesters. During that time he began writing a comic strip for the college newspaper and he fell in love with comics. After spending a semester at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design he left his hometown in 1997 and settled in Portland, Oregon.
Graphic Novel/Realistic Fiction – biography of sorts
He grew up in a Christian home, but that didn’t last.
He met her at bible camp.
Reading Level/Interest Level:
Why I included this book:
I had somebody recommend this to me for young adults. It was written for adults, but the content is suitable for young adults, and they would be able to relate to it more easily.