Today I'm kicking it old-skool with an oldie but a goodie: The Secret Blog of Raisin Rodriguez, by Judy Goldschmidt.
Pitched as "Harriet the Spy meets Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret," Raisin (actually the first book in a trilogy) turns the girl-with-journal trope on its ear and ushers it into the digital era.
Here's what Booklist had to say about it:
Lost and lonely when she moves in with her stepfather's family in Philadelphia, Raisin Rodriguez, 13, talks on her blog to her two best friends back in Berkeley, California. Her daily, sometimes hourly, narrative is frank, needy, hilarious, intimate, and crude. On one level it's the usual diary about the new kid trying to fit in with the cool group. But Raisin, who admits she's way beyond Judy Blume, also writes about examining her intimate body parts, comparing what she sees with the wrinkled "face of Mervis the librarian." There's also the teacher who looks as if he has "pubic hair coming out of his ears." When she forgets to log out at school, someone prints her blog for all to read. Blogs tend to be ephemeral, but what will last here is the close-up of peer cruelty, personal intimacy, and public embarrassment. Raisin can't help wondering if the word embarrassment comes from the root words bare and ass.
Raisin is hilariously authentic, capturing that moment of not-quite-teendom in all of its excruciatingly magnified detail. When it originally released, Raisin was one of the first books to integrate teen blogging into its plot. But now that teen blogging is more pervasive than ever, I think the series remains uber-relevant - and laugh-out-loud funny!
We'll hear more from Judy tomorrow, but in the meantime, here's a fan-made trailer for Raisin: