March 02, 2021
At home, Maggie is the odd one out. Her parents are preoccupied with getting ready for a new baby, and her younger brothers are twins and always in their own world. Maggie loves animals and thinks a new puppy to call her own is the answer, but when she goes to select one on her birthday, she breaks out in hives and rashes. She's severely allergic to anything with fur!
Can Maggie outsmart her allergies and find the perfect pet? With illustrations by Michelle Mee Nutter, Megan Wagner Lloyd uses inspiration from her own experiences with allergies to tell a heartfelt story of family, friendship, and finding a place to belong.
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
This was very well done and will be hugely popular with fans of Raina Telgemeier's similarly anxious graphic novels. 5th grade is definitely a year when many students pine for pets (my daughter was in 6th grade when we adopted our dog Sylvie), and readers will sympathize with Maggie's disappointment. There are a few students every year who end up with baby siblings, so that was good to see as well. Friend drama is always popular, and Claire and Maggie's relationship was well drawn. There was an especially touching scene with Maggie and one of her young brothers. Definitely purchasing one, if not two, copies!
Maggie's grandmother, with her gray bun, dresses, round figure, and shawl like collars, looked a lot like MY own grandmother-- who would be 127 if she were alive today. She's super cozy looking, but probably doesn't look like most grandmothers of middle grade readers. I liked the fact that Maggie was darker skinned than her father, but would have been glad to have a more concrete ethnic heritage cited.
There are not a lot of middle grade books dealing with allergies, and I would love to see more. I love that there is a depiction of an EpiPen. This is definitely something we see a lot in the student population, and including an asthma diagnosis would not go amiss! (I've had cross country runners violently allergic to contact with grass. That was interesting!) Looking forward to anything that these two artists do in the future.
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