Justina Chen Headley Dia Calhoun Lorie Ann Grover Holly Cupala Melissa Walker readergirlz blog


The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg

The Plain Janes written by Cecil Castellucci; art by Jim Rugg

When Jane is forced to move from the cool confines of Metro City to Suburbia, she thinks her life is over. But there in the lunch room at the reject table she finds her tribe: three other girls named Jane. Main Jane encourages them to form a secret art gang and paint the town P.L.A.I.N. - People Loving Art In Neighborhoods. But can art attacks really save the hell that is high school?

The art attacks continue in the sequel, Janes in Love, when the clique of misfits plays Cupid and becomes entangled in affairs of the heart. P.L.A.I.N. goes global when the art gang procures a spot in the Metro City Museum of Modern Art Contest. The Janes will discover that in art and love, the normal rules don't always apply.

Download this month's poster and bookmark.

"The rgz divas are psyched to share a graphic novel with our community in July. I was delighted to find The Plain Janes and Janes in Love and even more excited when Cecil wrote and said the works are still available. Here's to the wonderful pair, Cecil and Jim, and the fabulous contribution Minx made to graphic novels for girls. We celebrate you this month!" - Lorie Ann Grover, readergirlz diva

"This graphic novel for girls feels like a teen movie and teaches young women the joy of being original." - USA Today on The Plain Janes, Best Graphic Novels of 2007

"Castellucci clearly knows what goes on in the lives in many teens." - School Library Journal

"Castellucci gives voice to a memorable teenage narrator." - Publishers Weekly starred review


Cecil Castellucci


Things to Know

  Cecil Castellucci

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On the nightstand: Books, glass of water

Favorite drink while you write: Some kind of espresso drink

Favorite bookstores:
Skylight Books, Los Angeles
Books of Wonder, NYC
Shakespeare and Co., Paris, France

Favorite library: My local library, Los Angeles Public Library Los Feliz Branch.

Pets: Scout (cat)

Place to write: My porch. A café.

Inspiration: The whole wide world and beautiful true people with good hearts.

Dream book tour: Me and Jack Kerouac.

Writer buddies: Cylin Busby, Jill Murray, Jo Knowles, Carolyn Kellogg, Edan Lepucki, Lisa Yee, Dana Reinhardt, David Levithan, Kara Lareau, Siobhan Vivian (and a shout out to my LA peeps, like the LAYAs)

Cure for writer's block: Chocolate cures everything. So do bubble baths.

Favorite outfit: A ball gown. But that is not practical, so it's jeans and a Gama-Go T-shirt.

Laptop or longhand? Laptop, then longhand.

Stilettos or Uggs? Neither. I say, clogs or Chuck Taylors.

Next up: Rose Sees Red (Scholastic, 2010)

Author idol: Jane Austen

Other YA Novels: Boy Proof, The Queen of Cool, Beige, Geektastic

Other Interviews: Talking with Tim, PinkRaygun

Website: misscecil.com


Janes in Love

rgz LIVE!

Discuss the book with both the author and the artist. Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg will be chatting live at the readergirlz blog on Wednesday, July 22nd at 6 PM PST/9 PM EST. The chat will last for about an hour.


Art Saves

Download the template (PDF)



How do you think Art Saves? In July, we challenged readers to show us their answer to that question. Holly Cupala, readergirlz diva, created a downloadable Art Saves template so that readers could print it out and decorate it however they liked. People then scanned or photographed their creations and sent them in to us via email.

We posted contributions at the readergirlz blog all month long, then archived them here at the site. (See the special gallery below!)

Even though the month is over and our project is done, you should continue to seek and create art in your school and neighborhood! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Take a picture of your favorite bookstore, your best friends, or your pets.
- Piece together a tote bag made out of old clothes.
- Draw with chalk on your sidewalk. (Try making shadow outlines like those in Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian, one of this month's rec reads!)
- Gather with friends, dress up as the Janes, and recreate the book cover.
- Set up a park or beach clean-up day.
- Run/walk a marathon for a good cause and sing or dance every time you finish a lap.
- Go to an animal shelter, ask if you may take pictures of the critters and make posters to help get them adopted.
- Volunteer at a local library or hospital during arts-and-crafts time.

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the Art Saves project. Click any thumbnail below to see a bigger image of the art.


Art Saves Sarah Miller   Art Saves Aquafortis   Art Saves Beth Kephart   Art Saves Cecil Castellucci  

Art Saves Crissa-Jean Chappell   Art Saves Ellen   Art Saves Holly Cupala   Art Saves Jeanie  

Art Saves Kiba Rika   Art Saves Lorie Ann Grover   Art Saves Lauren   Art Saves Lisa Ann Sandell  

Art Saves Liz Gallagher   Art Saves Little Willow   Art Saves Melissa Walker   Art Saves MaryAnn  

Art Saves Piper   Art Saves Realm Lovejoy   Art Saves Shelf Elf   Art Saves Siobhan Vivian  

Art Saves Tanita   Art Saves Tom Sniegoski  


Thanks to Jim Rugg for this art gallery, especially the never-before-seen pages  
from Janes Go Summer, which Cecil & Jim had started working on before the  
Minx line of comics was cancelled. Click any thumbnail to see full-sized images. 

Janes art   Janes art   Janes art  

Janes art   Janes art   Janes art   Janes art  

Janes art   Janes art   Janes art   Janes art  

Janes art   Janes art   Janes art  


These tunes were hand-picked by the author to accompany her book. In fact, she built an entire iTunes playlist which you may download by clicking below! Even if you don't have iTunes, you should be able to listen to a 30-second clip from each song for free. Make sure to check out the track by Cecil Seaskull -- Guess who that is?

1. Little Bombs (iTunes Originals Version) by Aimee Mann
2. You Learn by Alanis Morissette
3. Carpe Diem by Aldebert
4. How Am I Doing (Single Version) by Anna Waronker
5. Beautiful Life by Anna Waronker
6. Plumb Line by Archers of Loaf
7. Gamble Everything for Love by Ben Lee
8. What I'm Looking For by Brendan Benson
9. Unsteady Ground (new version) by Catherine Feeny
10. Beautiful Everything by Cecil Seaskull
11. Armageddon by coco rosie
12. Freak Scene by Dinosaur Jr.
13. One Two Three Four by Feist
14. I Am a Tree by Guided By Voices
15. Die Vampire, Die!
16. For Good by Idina Menzel & Kristin Chenoweth
17. Our Lips Are Sealed by Jane Wiedlin (from The Go-Go's)
18. Bad Reputation by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
19. Enjoy Yourself by Jolie Holland
20. Universal Heartbeat by Juliana Hatfield
21. Kids in America by Kim Wilde
22. Walking and Falling by Laurie Anderson
23. The Rainbow Connection by Sarah McLachlan
24. This Is Not a Test by She & Him
25. Into the Morning by The Weekend




What is your favorite kind of street art?

Have you ever made any street art? If so, what was it? If not, what would it be?

The Janes are all misfits. How do you feel you are a misfit?

Main Jane was in a terrorist attack and it changed her whole world. Has something big or small ever happened to you that made you see everything differently and change the way you deal with the world?

Many of the townsfolk think that what the Janes do is vandalism. What are your thoughts about street art? Where is the line for you? What is art? What is vandalism?

Main Jane rejects the cool kids, why do you think she does that? What does cool mean anyway?

All the Janes have a specific passion for something: art, theater, science, sports. Do you have a passion for something? What is it?

Which Jane character do you think you are most like?

The Janes don't seem like they are going to be friends at first, because they are so different. Do you have friends that are very different from you? What do you love most about them?

The Janes invite James into their misfit group because he is alone. How do you extend a welcome hand to people who are left out or different than you?

How do you express yourself best?



Invite: Art postcards from different artists.

Food: Cheese and crackers, a mixed fruit salad, and mini cupcakes that you decorate yourself!

Décor: Bouquets of flowers (mums mean hope!) and art posters.

Movies: Footloose, Pump Up the Volume, Rushmore, Ghost World - or films about great artists, like Frida, I Shot Andy Warhol, Camille Claudel, Lust for Life, Pollack (maybe watch these movies with your parents - they might be R-rated since, you know, artists lead very fraught and dramatic lives!)

Craft: Obviously plan an art attack! Like chalk drawings on your sidewalk! Submit something to our Art Saves project. Scroll up to the Read, Reflect, Reach Out section for details.


The Opposite of Invisible by Liz Gallagher A Map of the Known World by Lisa Ann Sandell Emiko Superstar by Mariko Tamaki and Steve Rolston Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith

Recommended by postergirlz, the readergirlz advisory council

The Opposite of Invisible by Liz Gallagher
A Map of the Known World by Lisa Ann Sandell
Emiko Superstar by Mariko Tamaki and Steve Rolston
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian

Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith


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