Cici's Journal: The Adventures of a Writer-In-Training

Cici's Journal: The Adventures of a Writer-In-Training

Cici dreams of being a novelist. Her favorite subject: people, especially adults. She’s been watching them and taking notes. Everybody has one special secret, Cici figures, and if you want to write about people, you need to understand what’s hiding inside them. But now she’s discovered something truly strange: an old man who disappears into the forest every Sunday with hug...

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Title:Cici's Journal: The Adventures of a Writer-In-Training
Author:Joris Chamblain
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Cici's Journal: The Adventures of a Writer-In-Training Reviews

  • Fran

    Cici loves to read novels, comics, and science magazines. She would like to be a writer. Mrs. Forbes, Cici's former teacher, is now a local author. Mrs. Forbes begins to mentor Cici with meet-ups and suggested writing exercises to fuel Cici's burgeoning interest.

    Mrs. Forbes recommends that Cici start with a personal diary or journal. She is encouraged to observe people, imagine their lives, guess their innermost feelings, then create an adventure for them. First, however, one must conduct an inv

    Cici loves to read novels, comics, and science magazines. She would like to be a writer. Mrs. Forbes, Cici's former teacher, is now a local author. Mrs. Forbes begins to mentor Cici with meet-ups and suggested writing exercises to fuel Cici's burgeoning interest.

    Mrs. Forbes recommends that Cici start with a personal diary or journal. She is encouraged to observe people, imagine their lives, guess their innermost feelings, then create an adventure for them. First, however, one must conduct an investigation.

    Mrs. Forbes explains that a writer must gather the facts, conduct interviews, then search for clues trying to find a lead, perhaps, something unexpected. Cici, with the help of friends and cohorts Erica and Lena, become sleuths. Cici records her observations in her journal, draws picture clues, lists the character traits of her two friends and discusses the spin she will concoct to get Mom's approval to conduct her queries. The tome consists of two tales. Every Sunday, an old man disappears into the woods with his parrot Captain Flint. He carries two heavy paint cans. Later, he returns covered in paint. In the second tale, an old lady visits the local library every week requesting the same book. Why doesn't she just buy the book? Cici will look for clues to discover the real person inside each of these characters.

    Through the use of journal entries, drawings and newspaper clippings, alternating with a comic book presentation of Cici's interaction with her mom, Mrs. Forbes and friends Erica and Lena, the reader will catch a glimpse of the power of observation and the tricks involved in storytelling. Author Chamblain touches upon the importance of maintaining friendships and being truthful and forthright to parents and teachers.

    "Cici's Journal: The Adventures of a Writer-In-Training" was a most enjoyable read. Author Joris Chamblain and illustrator Aurelie Neyret have created a magical learning experience for middle school readers and budding writers.

    Thank you First Second Books and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review "Cici's Journal".

  • Kailey (BooksforMKs)

    Cici loves a good mystery! When she and her friends see an old man lugging paint cans through the forest, Cici will do anything to unravel the enigma of the painter. But when she ignores her friends, lies to her mother, and takes advantage of her writing mentor, Cici could lose everyone she loves if she doesn't learn to curb her wild curiosity.

    This edition includes volumes 1-2 of Cici's story.

    I adore the beautiful illustrations with soft colors and clean lines. Every page is gorgeous, and I rea

    Cici loves a good mystery! When she and her friends see an old man lugging paint cans through the forest, Cici will do anything to unravel the enigma of the painter. But when she ignores her friends, lies to her mother, and takes advantage of her writing mentor, Cici could lose everyone she loves if she doesn't learn to curb her wild curiosity.

    This edition includes volumes 1-2 of Cici's story.

    I adore the beautiful illustrations with soft colors and clean lines. Every page is gorgeous, and I read it slowly so that I could enjoy each panel.

    Cici's story is imaginative and whimsical. The plot is interesting and charming, with lots of varied characters. It's such a sweet story of friendship, reclaiming the past, and learning to trust.

    I love that Cici is initially intrigued by the mystery, but then she truly wants to help people and make their lives better. She has a generous heart, but her actions are sometimes misplaced. She has such great character development!

  • Melki

    Cici is a young, would-be writer who loves to solve mysteries . . . very mild mysteries like where does that man go everyday with all those paint cans, and why does the old lady keep checking the same book out of the library. I'm guessing some readers will find this rather dull, but I was hooked.

    This was translated from a French series, and the artwork has a charming, very European feel to it.

    Most enjoyable.

  • Schizanthus

    I feel like cheating with this review and just telling you to check out the review

    wrote, which you can find here:

    . Thank you Lola for already articulating so well what I wanted to say. 😊

    So, onto my ramble.

    I quite liked the stories of Mr Mysterious in Part One and Ms Mysterious in Part Two. The initially unseen depth of their sweet but sad stories were unexpected, although to be completely honest I felt Cici had no business playing Nancy Drew and int

    I feel like cheating with this review and just telling you to check out the review

    wrote, which you can find here:

    . Thank you Lola for already articulating so well what I wanted to say. 😊

    So, onto my ramble.

    I quite liked the stories of Mr Mysterious in Part One and Ms Mysterious in Part Two. The initially unseen depth of their sweet but sad stories were unexpected, although to be completely honest I felt Cici had no business playing Nancy Drew and interfering in their lives in the first place.

    I loved Cici’s inquisitive nature but wasn’t a fan of the sneaky way she went about her investigations. I loved that she cares about people and wants to help once she solves their ‘mystery’ and understands what she can do to help (not that she was asked to help in the first place) but I hated that she spends the rest of her time lying to her mother and using her friends.

    Because Cici is so Cici-centric all we know about one of her friends until the very end is that they are a whinger. Seriously, would you want to be friends with someone who can only describe you as a complainer, even if they’re right? It’s not that I hated Cici. A lot of the time I found her endearing and sweet but she really irritated me too. Thankfully she does learn lessons along the way about the way she’s treated her friends and mother.

    My brain went a little nutty during the first story when all of the kids are lying to their parents and sneaking off to go hang out in the middle of the bush with a strange old man. Granted, he was a lovely but sad old man and I doubt he would slap a mosquito actively draining all of his blood. He could’ve been a creepy old man though. I know it’s just a story but my adult brain is practically hyperventilating (no, I don’t know how that’s physically possible either) at the thought of sending a message that it’s okay to lie to your parents to secretly meet a stranger in a remote location! Nuttiness aside, I adored the old man in the first story. He was an absolute sweetheart.

    Naturally I loved that the scene of the second ‘mystery’ was the local library. Woohoo! Cici manages to solve Ms Mysterious’ mystery the first time she checked out the book that Ms Mysterious has been checking out every week for many years (of course). There’s no romantic hiding in the depths of my icy cold heart but I admit I really liked the love story of Ms Mysterious and her beau.

    The illustrations were gorgeous and I loved the soft warm colours used throughout the book. The layout was really well done, with layers showing crayons, pencils (with pencil shavings) and pens laying on top of pages in Cici’s journal that made it seem as though the reader is peeking over her shoulder at the page she’s working on. She’s also pasted in relevant bits and pieces, including postcards from her friends, newspaper articles, letters and photos. The creativity of telling the story through graphic novel format interspersed with journal entries and drawings makes this visually a really interesting book.

    I wouldn’t mind revisiting this book again in a few months. I wonder even as I’m writing this if I’ve been a bit harsh on Cici’s Cici-centricity. I’m interested to know if I’ll find her more endearing and less irritating next time. I hope so because the stories are quite good. I’d probably give the stories alone 3.5 stars but because I loved the illustrations so much I’m rounding up.

  • Lola

    3.5 stars.

    A lovely book for young readers.

    The illustrations are incredible. Actually, it’s the colouring that makes them so exceptional. If they had been in black and white, they would still have been charming, but not this admirable, so the colours the colourist used made all the difference here.

    Cici wants to become a writer, because she loves stories. She especially loves to find stories in people she doesn’t know—people she describes as being ‘‘mysterious’’. She’s a young detective, but with

    3.5 stars.

    A lovely book for young readers.

    The illustrations are incredible. Actually, it’s the colouring that makes them so exceptional. If they had been in black and white, they would still have been charming, but not this admirable, so the colours the colourist used made all the difference here.

    Cici wants to become a writer, because she loves stories. She especially loves to find stories in people she doesn’t know—people she describes as being ‘‘mysterious’’. She’s a young detective, but without the dangerous, reckless side.

    There are two ‘‘mystery’’ cases in this graphic novel, as it combines the first two volumes in the Les Carnets de Cerise series, translated from French. The first one is the best. It is so unexpected and heart-warming that I have to applaud it. The second one, however, is less so. While still charming, it felt like the type of story I’ve heard many times before.

    And I couldn’t process why the sad old lady didn’t just buy a copy of the book. Seems to me like she wouldn’t have to take the bus so often or worry about the book ever leaving her side.

    It has a ‘‘young vibe,’’ that’s undeniable. I was bothered by the role Cici’s friends played, and so were they by the way. Your friends shouldn’t exist as planets to your sun. It shouldn’t be all about Cici, but it is. Cici and her mystery cases, that is.

    On the other hand, Cici is adventurous, creative, smart, warm and determined, qualities worth recognizing. She made the story interesting, because she herself was interested in the world around her and looked at it in a unique light.

    So I enjoyed it, but I am expecting more teamwork in the future. After all, even the best of writers collaborate, don’t they? And if her friends don’t want to jump into her adventures all the time, perhaps she could meet someone who shares this passion of hers?

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  • Hilary

    I expected to like this more than I did. I liked the idea of an adventurous girl, investigating mysteries and keeping a journal in the hope of becoming a writer. There are two stories in this book, I felt the second story worked better. The graphic novel story parts of the book about Cici didn't seem to fit well with the pages that were her journal.

    I didn't really like the relationship Cici had with her friends, it didn't seem a positive relationship which I agree not all friendships are. I fel

    I expected to like this more than I did. I liked the idea of an adventurous girl, investigating mysteries and keeping a journal in the hope of becoming a writer. There are two stories in this book, I felt the second story worked better. The graphic novel story parts of the book about Cici didn't seem to fit well with the pages that were her journal.

    I didn't really like the relationship Cici had with her friends, it didn't seem a positive relationship which I agree not all friendships are. I felt slightly uncomfortable about some of the storyline about Cici and her mother. Several times Cici, lies to her mum about where she is going so she can go to lonely places to investigate odd happenings, she also gets her friends to lie about her whereabouts as she is putting herself in potentially dangerous situations that her mum wouldn't let her be in if she knew. I wondered if this was a good thing to portray in a story about a 10 yr old which will be read by similar aged girls?

  • Christoph

    Ooookay, gleich vorweg - das war so gar nicht mein Inhalt. Man möge mir den Vergleich verzeihen, aber mich erinnerte so manches hier an diese lieblichen Mädchenmagazine. Der Inhalt, also die Geschichte selbst war leichtfüßig erzählt, die Charaktere sehr liebevoll gezeichnet und mit vereinzelten klischee-elementen gewürzt, wo es notwendig erschien um dem Publikum die Möglichkeit der Identifizierung zu geben ... und vielleicht bin's ich, aber mir kam es so vor, dass das gewünschte Publikum das Tee

    Ooookay, gleich vorweg - das war so gar nicht mein Inhalt. Man möge mir den Vergleich verzeihen, aber mich erinnerte so manches hier an diese lieblichen Mädchenmagazine. Der Inhalt, also die Geschichte selbst war leichtfüßig erzählt, die Charaktere sehr liebevoll gezeichnet und mit vereinzelten klischee-elementen gewürzt, wo es notwendig erschien um dem Publikum die Möglichkeit der Identifizierung zu geben ... und vielleicht bin's ich, aber mir kam es so vor, dass das gewünschte Publikum das Teenager-Mädchen ist.

    Damit war ich draussen ... und mich hielt nur mehr aufrecht, dass die Gestaltung und die grafische Darbietung, so wie zu Beginn erkannt, sehr detailverliebt und verspielt gemacht wurde. Von Tagebuchseiten, die an allen Ecken kleine Doodles hatten bis zu den schön gezeichneten Panels. Gestehe, dass ich mir gegen Ende mehr die Bilder als den Text reingezogen habe; was für mich eher untypisch ist.

    Aus meiner Sicht eine ganz große Empfehlung für das jugendliche Zielpublikum. Schöne Geschichten, grafisch toll in Szene gesetzt und man darf diese leichtfüßigen alltagstauglichen Abenteuer von Cici miterleben, wenn nicht sogar im eigenen Alltag nachspielen. :)

  • Rod Brown

    I know I'm not the target audience, but, boy did this book actively annoy me.

    Cici is an obnoxious little busybody who lies constantly, stalks elderly people, and treats her friends like crap or simply uses them in whatever way is convenient for her. As one of her friends sums up, "We don't matter to her...She spends all her time spying on people and meddling in their lives instead of playing with us..." There is an attempt to reform Cici by the end of the book, but it all comes off as too littl

    I know I'm not the target audience, but, boy did this book actively annoy me.

    Cici is an obnoxious little busybody who lies constantly, stalks elderly people, and treats her friends like crap or simply uses them in whatever way is convenient for her. As one of her friends sums up, "We don't matter to her...She spends all her time spying on people and meddling in their lives instead of playing with us..." There is an attempt to reform Cici by the end of the book, but it all comes off as too little too late.

    And it is repetitive that both stories collected in this book rely on old people who are incredibly obsessed and abandoned areas that are nearly forgotten: a defunct zoo and a giant room in a library left untouched for 30 years because, you know, libraries are never hurting for space.

    Not good.

  • First Second Books

    Cici dreams of being a novelist. Her favorite subject: people, especially adults. She’s been watching them and taking notes. Cici’s Journal is interwoven with journal notes, scrapbook pieces, and doodles, Cici assembles clues about the odd and wonderful people she’s uncovered, even as she struggles to understand the mundane: her family and friends.

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