Emma can’t help comparing herself to her bright and popular older sister, Julia. Try as she might, Emma can’t seem to please her mom as much as her sister does.
The more Emma measures herself alongside Julia and others, the more pressure she feels to try to change. But trying to be as good as everyone else at everything is exhausting and frustrating.
With help from her friends and basketball teammates, as well as Lexi, the French bulldog she’s dogsitting, Emma realizes that there’s no such thing as “perfect”—and it feels better to be true to herself, instead of trying to please others. But will other people, especially her mom, understand that Emma may not excel at the same things as her sister?
Misako Rocks! is a Brooklyn-based manga artist. Her first break came when The Onion decided to use her illustrations for their “Savage Love” column. Shortly afterward, in 2007, Misako self-published her autobiographical comic, Rock and Roll Love, which was featured on the New York Public Library's Best Books for Teens List. Outside of the U.S., she has published several books in Japan, including How to Learn English with Misako’s Method. She teaches manga drawing classes at numerous middle schools in New York City, as well as at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Cherry Blossom Festival.
"With a bit of courage and some magical assistance, a young girl learns to reach out to others.
Star basketball player Emma is popular at school, but at home she feels unappreciated, since her mother constantly and unfavorably compares her to Julia, her seemingly perfect older sister ...The pressure is heightened when Emma gets a spot on the school’s all-star basketball team. She’s disappointed not to be chosen as a starter; she’s also admonished for her lack of teamwork. ... Self-esteem, friendships, and second chances are explored through her growth, leading to a satisfying conclusion. Drawn in a manga style and displaying a deft use of color, this is a visually attractive and expressive story....An emotional story that gently advocates for emotional vulnerability."--Kirkus Reviews
"This full-color manga-style graphic novel evokes the soft, dreamy character aesthetic of early aughts shojo titles. Slice-of-life fans in their tweens and early teens beginning to focus more on peer group relationships will likely sympathize with Emma's insecurity about measuring up. The author empathetically portrays the emotional ripples in Emma's family and social group, as they observe and sometimes inadvertently contribute to her self-doubt struggles."--Shelf Awareness