Crunch (Click #5)

 
3.8 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
99 0
Crunch (Click #6)
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
8+
Release Date
August 30, 2022
ISBN
978-0358393689
Buy This Book
      
It’s no secret that Olive loves trying new things. Between taking guitar lessons, making a short film, joining Berry Scouts, and leading the charge on her school’s dress code reform, Olive has her hands full! But she enjoys being busy, so staying on track with her jam-packed schedule should be no problem…right?

As weeks fly by, it gets harder and harder for Olive to find time for her activities, never mind time for herself. Will she be able to accomplish her goals, or will all her sizzle turn to fizzle?

The New York Times bestselling author-illustrator Kayla Miller delivers a vibrant and timely story about the importance of balance, effort, and reaching out for help.

Editor reviews

2 reviews
Finding balance in a hectic life.
(Updated: September 07, 2022)
Overall rating
 
3.8
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
4.0
What worked:
Compared to most graphic novels I’ve read, this book does pretty well in developing Olive’s character. The whole story is about her and the many different activities she takes on. Middle-grade readers may relate to her stress since that’s a time when many new clubs, sports, and hobbies become available to them. It’s a time to explore interests but that sometimes gets out of control. Olive is enthusiastic (impulsive?) as she’s already quit karate after three classes and now spontaneously plans to enter a short-film contest she notices on a bulletin board. Never mind the fact she doesn’t have an idea for a film nor does she have a camera to record one. She displays social awareness as she uses her position on the student council to challenge the school dress code. However, she lacks the foresight of the consequences of joining the Berry Scouts in addition to school, homework, and other commitments.
There are a couple of curiosities about the story that may resonate with young readers. The film contest consumes Olive’s attention despite being one thing in her life she hasn’t planned on. She notices an ad for the upcoming contest and it immediately distracts her in school and at school when she should be practicing guitar, doing homework, and helping her friend with Berry Scouts. Another unexpected aspect of the story is the fact there aren’t any negative characters. All of Olive’s friends and classmates get along and are respectful to adults. It seems like every book has at least one character who goofs off, bullies others, or causes trouble but you won’t find that in this one. Actually, Olive’s friends, family, and teachers are very supportive and understanding even though they’re not fully aware of what she’s going through.
As with all graphic novels, pictures are used to replace text so they’re very important in telling the story. The illustrations in this book aren’t overly detailed but they effectively communicate events and emotions to keep the plot moving. Groups of pictures quickly display time passing in school and dinner at home to allow more focus on Olive’s overwhelming extracurricular activities. Facial expressions and graphic techniques offer clues to characters’ feelings as conflict and tension affect their lives. A sequence of illustrations shares Olive’s nightmare caused by her internal conflicts as the plot nears its climax.
What didn’t work as well:
A common problem with graphic novels is the lack of text leaves out details and descriptions to help readers fully understand characters and make connections. The development of Olive’s character is better than average but the other characters are lacking. This book still presents an interesting story that generally reflects the lives of many middle-grade readers.
The Final Verdict:
The author/illustrator expertly meshes pictures and words to create a charming story of a young girl learning to find balance in her life. The pictures help keep the narrative moving and the conflict will be relatable for many young readers. I recommend you give this book a shot.
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Olive's Overscheduled Adventures
Overall rating
 
3.7
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
3.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Olive has been taking guitar lessons for a while, but starts throwing herself into a lot of activities. Her best friend Willow is being pressured to join the Berry Scouts because both of her parents were in the group when they were young; instead of supporting Willow in trying to tell her parents she didn't want to do this activity, Olive ends up signing up herself. When several girls in her class are given dress code warnings, Olice is angered and puts together a group to present information to the principal about why the code should be changed. Even though the principal is open to this, Olive and her friends charge head first into a complicated fashion show exhibiting forbidden fashions. She wants to enter a short film competition, so makes a costume for her brother and spends a lot of time on stop motion animation. With all of this going on, she forgets to practice her guitar, often struggles to complete her homework, and finds it hard to get out of bed and make it to school on time. Will Olive learn to balance all of her activities before she gets burned out?
Good Points
It's exciting to do new activities, and middle school students are not the best judges of how to fit everything into their schedule. I've had a number of students who thought they could do both cross country AND competitive soccer even when both have practice at the same time every week day. Olive's mother is supportive, but often gives Olive permission and just information support to get her into trouble! Olive really enjoys each activity, but all of them together stress her out. It's important to see her deal with these issues, but there aren't a lot of middle grade novels that deal with time management. Hurwirtz's Calli Be Gold and delle Donne's Belle of the Ball are two notable exceptions.

Miller's bright graphics are a fan favorite, and her previous books (Click, Act, Camp, and Clash) are popular with readers of Chmakova's Crush series, Libenson's Invisible Emmie, and Scrivan's Nat Enough. Olive's anxiety is something we're seeing in more books these days, but I love that she is surrounded by good friends who are willing to help her.

Like the Baby-Sitters Club Graphic novels, the Click series is a candy colored confection that readers can't gobble down quickly enough, but which also has a tiny bit of added vitamins and fiber in the storyline about school and life balance.
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