reviewed by C, age 11
The graphic novel Allergic by Megan Wagner Lloyd and Michelle Mee Nutter (Graphix, March 2021) has the theme that change can be hard. The main character, Maggie, finds out that she is allergic to dogs and fur. Maggie later meets her best friend, Claire. This book takes place in modern time and has every mood. It is sad and frustrated when Maggie finds she is allergic to dogs, joyful when her sister is born, and everything in between.
The problem is that when Maggie finds out she is allergic to dogs she searches for an animal she can have. She and her friend, Claire get mice, and they they have a big secret from everyone else. However, after Claire “betrays” Maggie and gets a dog, Maggie avoids her. Because of Maggie’s secret, she gets paranoid and gets an allergic reaction to the mice’s fur. Maggie’s twin brothers find her mice and tell her parents. Later, Claire shows up and they both forgive each other and become friends again.
I like this book because of the illustrations and the story time. I also like the theme, which is that change can be hard. I think this because Maggie has to change her ways when she can’t get a dog, when she goes to a new school, and then later when her baby sister, June, is born. I like this book and hope you read it too!
Mom’s thoughts: Maggie not only finds that change can be hard as my daughter states, but she finds herself lonely as she deals with the intense disappointment of not being able to have that precious dog she wants. She feels completely out of place, since her twin brothers have each other and her parents have each other and the coming new baby. When her new best friend gets her dog, Maggie’s loneliness increases. She has to find a way to stand up for herself. Maggie’s allergy doesn’t go away. Her realistic story gives the tween reader an example of how not to try to solve problems (sneaking a mouse in the house despite her horrible allergy) but also the hope that they too will find a way to overcome disappointment and move forward with new plans. The illustrator’s adorable animal illustrations give the book a great “awwwww cute” factor that perfectly fits the 8- to 12-year-old audience.