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All's Faire in Middle School

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  14,570 ratings  ·  1,310 reviews
The author of Roller Girl is back with a graphic novel about starting middle school, surviving your embarrassing family, and the Renaissance Faire.

Eleven-year-old Imogene (Impy) has grown up with two parents working at the Renaissance Faire, and she's eager to begin her own training as a squire. First, though, she'll need to prove her bravery. Luckily Impy has just the qu
Hardcover, 248 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Dial Books
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  14,570 ratings  ·  1,310 reviews

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I love a Renaissance. This book follows a family who works the show each year and we get to see behind the scenes of what those people's lives are like. Imogene has been homeschooled and this year for middle school, she is going to public school.

The story is about learning to navigate the politics of cool-dom that is middle school or as my uncle calls it, "humanity in the raw." She does her best to fit in and survive. It's so difficult that she begins to be embarrassed by her family and the fai
Sep 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Victoria Jamieson's Roller Girl was one of the best graphic novels I read this year. It's one of the best graphic novels I’ve read ever. So it was natural I'd look for more of her work.

I liked this story, but it's NO Roller Girl.

Imogene has been home-schooled through the 5th grade, but now she's decided to tackle public school. And let's face it--public school is terrifying and, going off of my rusty memory, middle school was an often meaner place than high school. Not to mention Imogene has an
Abby Johnson
Okay, I loved ROLLER GIRL, but this one is even better.

Victoria Jamieson presents a story about navigating middle school but with a twist. Imogene's grown up with her Renaissance Faire family. Every summer since she can remember, she's worked at her parents' shoppe and this year she's finally becoming an apprentice in the cast. She's also starting middle school (her choice) after years of being homeschooled. Middle school, it turns out, is trickier than Imogene had anticipated and she finds her
Although for years I had tended to majorly shy away from graphic novels as legitimate stories in and of themselves, I am definitely and certainly slowly being lured into their proverbial camp and yes, especially with regard to graphic novels for so-called middle grade readers (for ages nine to probably around twelve or thirteen). And indeed, for the most part, Victoria Jamieson's All's Faire in Middle School has once again proven to be yet another graphic novel reading joy (with Jamieson's engag ...more
I mean, if you (like me) had the initial reaction of, Hey! A colorful and whimsical graphic novel about a middle school girl’s coming of age? while she and her family work at a Renaissance Faire for a living?? That sounds intriguing! - then yes, of course you are correct and you should definitely read this. It is very unique.

Like many, I went for this book based on my love for Roller Girl, which is about the best middle grade baby feminist graphic novel possible, in my view. Everyone will probab
Dov Zeller
Note: Some spoilers in here.

In some ways All's Faire in Middle School closely resembles a lot of other middle school stories:

-The protagonist is new in school, in this case new TO school, and she doesn't have any friends, doesn't know how to "fit in."
-She finds herself taken in by a kind of mean-girls-ish in-crowd.
-The in-crowd-girls aren't the best, as you can imagine, and it doesn't take long for them to show their mean side and to find subtle and not-so-subtle ways of cutting the protagonis
May 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Great read, really fast and realistic.
I love how the author described middle school and how imogene tried everything and discovered it is much cooler to be yourself than someone else a valuable lesson for all girls and boys of any age loved it!
3.5 stars
La Coccinelle
Near the end of last year, I read the delightful Roller Girl. It was the best graphic novel I'd read all year (or, ever, at that point, since I was fairly new to the format). So when I saw that the author had a new book out, I was eager to have a look. Maybe it's because my expectations were really high after Roller Girl, but... I wasn't crazy about this one.

One thing I do love about Jamieson's books is that she introduces readers to experiences they might not be that familiar with. In the case
Ms. Yingling
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Imogene (Impy) lives with her family in a run down apartment, and has been homeschooled for years, because her mother and father both work at the local Renaissance Fair. With middle school approaching, Impy has decided that she wants to go to public school, although she is apprehensive about how the other children will treat her and how she will fit in. She is lucky on the first day when Mika invites her to sit with her at lunch with her friends Sasha and E
Sep 21, 2019 rated it liked it
A great follow-up to Roller Girl.

I do wish that more time would've been spent exploring Imogine school experience. But I think it covered beautifully how quickly middle school can make us forget our true values to gain the "respect" of a popular girl. The author handled Imogene's growth with great interest. I do wish the mother would've been a bit more on her side, at least as much as she is with Imogene's brother.

Check out an excerpt through my Amazon Affiliate:

This review and more can be
Jan 15, 2018 rated it liked it
It was fun to learn about the niche culture of renaissance fairs, but this is basically a recycled plot just like thousands of other middle school coming of age novels: innocent girl goes to middle school, tries to fit in, joins with the wrong clique/mean girls crowd, bullying and general poor life decisions ensue, eventually the girl rises above by just being herself and puts the mean girl in her place. It's done well and the Faire was fun, but overall this doesn't add anything new to the middl ...more
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This graphic novel tells the story of a girl entering middle school. This is already something difficult and terrifying to do, but her situation is more complicated. She was homeschooled for elementary school and her family works at a renaissance fair. Due to her unusual background, she finds it difficult to manage social life at school and has to make a lot of tough decisions about who she is and what is important to her.

I think anyone who comes from an unusual background can identify with this
Sep 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Full color graphic novel, friendship, homeschooling, new school, sexuality, growing up, socioeconomic differences, popularity, good vs. evil, racism, mixed race

Will definitely be a hit with Telgemeier/Jamieson fans, but I felt that she tried to tackle too many issues (see above) and never fully fleshed out any of them as a result.
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
this was a lot of fun to read. it shows the ways peer pressure and the desire to fit in can lead you astray and how to cope with being socially isolated, make up for mistakes/hurting others, and be true to yourself
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Another book that I would have loved as a kid but my old lady (36 years old) curmudgeonly brain can't get over the familiar tropes and YA angst. Highly recommend to the middle grade/YA crowd. Tentative recommend to the old lady crowd. ...more
Sep 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
Despite a clever premise I reaaalllyyyy didn't like this for what some might consider minor reasons but that really colored my overall impressions of the book.

Eleven year old Imogen (horribly nicknamed Impy) has grown up in slightly odd circumstances. She's been home schooled by her parents who are permanent residents of a Renaissance Faire in Florida. Her mom kind of makes a living selling handmaid Faire souvenirs and when her dad isn't playing the evil black knight he works in a pool supply st
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imogene and her family work at a Renaissance fair every year, and it's a huge part of Imogene's life. She's helped her mother for some years in her shop, and knows all the actors at the faire. This year, Imogene will become a squire, and will be able to properly look the part while cheering her dad, one of the actors, at his Knight activities and events.
Imogene starts middle school after being homeschooled for years. She is quickly included in a popular girl's group, which helps her interact wit
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Life is all about niches. Subcultures. Communities. Living in 2018, I'm struck by how tunnel-visiony everyones lives are on a daily basis.

Imogene is part of the reinactment/RenFaire community. She's also homeschooled, which can be a subcultural experience itself. But this year, she's starting public middle school. And joining this new community forces her to define herself in new ways.

When I first heard of this book, I figured it would be one I strongly identified with. I was homeschooled, I lov
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I LOVED Victoria Jamieson’s previous graphic novel, “Rollergirl,” so I was super excited to read this one. It did not disappoint. It’s more than your standard fare of a new girl who struggles to fit in at middle school. The renaissance faire stuff fit in very naturally and meaningfully with the middle school storyline, making the story unique. I also like that Imogene, our protagonist, doesn’t completely fall prey to the Popular Girls. She’s perceptive; she naturally wants to fit in and be liked ...more
3.5 stars

Cute book. Pretty sub-standard middle school plot line - new girl, having a hard time fitting in, mean girls etc., but with the addition of the Renaissance fair setting (Impy's parents and their fellow actors were so well done). The illustrations were great though, I really liked how the author drew background character's facial expressions. Even if they didn't speak during that particular panel I still understand their opinions/feeling/etc.

I still prefer Awkward or Sunny Side Up for mi
This is an impossible-to-put down graphic novel about a Renaissance Faire knight-in-training homeschooler, Imogene (Impy), who is starting public school for the first time. Impy's family life is socially and economically tied to the local Renaissance Faire so she has grown up in an unconventional household. She is eager to enter a "normal" environment and make "normal" friends. Impy learns some tough lessons about friendship, family, and that being true to one's self is the real normal. Jamieson ...more
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Renaissance Faire graphic novel you've been waiting for. ...more
A girl, always homeschooled, starts with middle school and deals with all the confusing things there. Sadly, this one and I weren't meant to be.

I was very excited to start this one, I loved the author's other graphic novel, Roller Girl, and so I couldn't wait to start this one. Sadly, it had good moments, but it also had many eh moments. Many many of those in the end.

I loved the Ren fair, and that she was eventually working there. Helping out her dad, trying to become a knight, juggling class an
Mississippi Library Commission
Victoria Jamieson's follow-up to Roller Girl is practically perfect in every way. Impy and her family are part of the Renaissance Fair world. They work and breathe 15th and 16th century Europe smack-dab in the middle of Florida, all day, every day, until newly dubbed squire Impy departs upon an important quest: middle school. Her close-knit world of Ren Faire lovers and homeschool are drastically different from the crowded middle school she begins to attend. Although she struggles to fit in and ...more
I didn't love this as much as Roller Girl in the reading experience, but I do think it's a really brilliantly rendered portrait of middle school. It doesn't shy away from showing how truly mean tweens can be to each other, rather than melodramatic and/or comical meanness you see in a lot of other middle grade. This book also gets points for parents who seem really real. I also really appreciated how it showed the lower middle class, because I feel like we don't see that in books. The Vega family ...more
Great readalike for Raina Telgemeier, Roller Girl, Dork Diaries, kids who liked Beverly Cleary when they were younger. Realistic story about family, friendship, and the middle school (*shudder*), but has a small doorway for historical fantasy/game nerd kids (and adults) through the Renaissance Faire plot thread. Art is fun and cute but also subtly complex. Story is deceivingly complex as well; one of my favorite aspects is that kids' emotions and motivations (and adults emotions too!) are not si ...more
Sam (she_who_reads_)
Possibly my new favourite middle grade graphic novel! This follows Imogene, whose family works at the Renaissance Faire, as she starts middle school after being homeschooled her whole life. Imogene has to navigate a whole host of challenges that come with a new school, new experiences, new people, and a new job at the Faire. It was so sweet and the art was adorable! This is jam packed with empowering messages for young people and I absolutely cannot wait to share it with my daughter!! HIGHLY REC ...more
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I absolutely adored Imogene. She makes a lot of big mistakes, but she learns from them too. Regardless of whether or not you've ever been homeschooled, I think her middle school experience rings true and every middle schooler is going to identify with at least one aspect of it. The renaissance faire setting adds a unique appeal and helps move the story forward. First in Roller Girl and now with this, Victoria Jamieson has a knack for writing irresistible, underdog-esque characters. ...more
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: librarybooks
Imogene is training to be a knight at the Florida Renaissance Faire but when she decides to go to middle school, will she be able to survive this new environment? Read on and find out for yourself.

This was a pretty good graphic novel and the art was awesome. Definitely check this book out now in bookstores everywhere.
Jun 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was so good! I loved the contrast of the place so foreign to so many of us being home to her, and the familiar school being so foreign to her...highlighting the fact that middle school makes everyone feel out of place. I felt her loneliness as a parent, though, and am trying to figure out how to take that in. And can we talk about how Anita rejected her at school first?
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