Tina's Mouth: 12/15/13
Tina's Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary by Keshni Kashyap is a YA graphic novel about being a teenage American Indian girl in Southern California. It's presented in a comic book / diary fashion similar to Doodlebug by Karen Romano Young, or the Emily the Strange books by Rob Reger.
Tina records her thoughts on life over six months (eight, counting the epilog). Originally the diary is an assignment for her existentialism class but it mutates into something more. Throughout she begins each entry with "Dear Mr. Sartre..."
Tina's life unfolds through these entries. We learn of her trouble trying find herself. She is a native Californian of Indian descent. She enjoys her cultural roots but they aren't as solid as they are for her immigrant parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents. She doesn't look like the native Californian that she feels like inside. Somehow she needs to find a balance between the internal and external.
It's a relatively quick and entertaining read, even for adults who have long since gone through those awkward teenage years. The book was nominated for a 2012 CYBILS award.