Friday, June 9, 2017

[Book Review] Funny Girl edited by Betsy Bird

 Funny Girl is an anthology for girls 9-12, curated by Betsy Bird. It features short stories, poetry, personal essays, letters, and comics from nearly thirty writers. Some being Lisa Graff, Akilah Hughes, Shannon Hale, Libba Bray, and so many more.


When I heard that Akilah Hughes, a comedian on YouTube I have been following for a little over a year now, had a short story in this anthology I decided to immediately request it from my library. I wanted to support her because she's an amazing creator on YouTube. I wasn't sure what to expect, being I am 10+ older than the designated age group for this anthology but I decided even if I didn't love it, I would at least like it. Which is pretty accurate to my final thoughts. Some of the stories and narratives are fictional, where others are actually autobiographical.

There are about 28 stories in the book, and I liked 13. Which isn't half bad, considering once again I'm a bit old for the book. I don't think it's appropriate to mention specifics of the ones I didn't like, because they weren't meant for me. However, I want to mention the stories, letters, and comics I did enjoy.

So first, the comics I enjoyed: 
In Which Young Raina Learns A Lesson by Raina Telgemeier.
7 Things I thought were (think are) Funny by Lisa Brown 
Bad Luck Dress by Charise Mericle Harper.

Both of these comics were really cute and charming. I think the overall theme of the anthology is cute and charming honestly. I really loved Lisa Brown's two page comic, it was so dang cute.

The letters I enjoyed: 
Dear Grandpa: Give Me Money by Alison DeCamp
Fleamail by Deborah Underwood (all three)

These both were a lot of fun. I enjoyed the back and forth in both of them and I definitely think I would have liked them even more when I was younger. I'm a huge animal lover, so I thought Fleamail was great. I think Dear Grandpa was cute, but the two voices weren't very realistic. It was trying a little too hard. But overall it was enjoyable.

The stories I enjoyed: 
Grandma in Oil Country: A True Story by Ursula Vernon
Swimming is For Other Kids by Akilah Hughes
Desdemona and Sparks Go All In by Rita Williams-Garcia and Michelle Garcia
Babysitting Nightmare by Shannon Hale
The World's Most Awkward Mermaid by Sophie Blackall

These stories are my favorite part of the anthology, and I have so many that I like because there were more stories than other kinds of writing. My favorites are Grandma in Oil Country and Swimming if For Other Kids. Grandma was great because it was so heartwarming and I thought the story was super realistic, even if in the illustrations the three characters were drawn as little sheep. It was adorable. For Swimming, I loved Akilah's writing style and story telling. I heard the story in her voice, because of all the videos of hers I've watched. I would love to read more of Akilah's stories and writings.

Overall I am happy I read this anthology. The writing was great all the way through, maybe a little simple but I expected that because it's a middle grade book. The whole collection was really sweet and I'd easily recommend it to young readers, especially young girl readers. I definitely think that I would have loved a good chunk more of the stories if I read this when I was a younger reader.

Thanks for reading!

Are there any books for younger readers you read as an adult that you want all younger readers to read?


  1. Replies
    1. It's so cute! I hope it pops up more in school libraries because I know I would have really loved it in grade school/middle school!