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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

A coming-of-age middle-grade graphic novel featuring a girl with severe allergies who just wants to find the perfect pet! At home, Maggie is the odd one out. Her parents are preoccupied with the new baby they're expecting, and her younger brothers are twins and always in their own world. Maggie thinks a new puppy 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 draws on her own experiences with allergies to tell a heartfelt story of family, friendship, and finding a place to belong.…


by Megan Wagner Lloyd

Overall Book Review:

Allergic is the story of a little girl’s quest to find the perfect pet. The only problem is she’s allergic to all the pets she’d like to adopt. This graphic novel has heartwarming moments and loving pictures of family and friend relationships. The art style is simple, yet it enhances the story by conveying the author’s meaning expressively. Young readers will enjoy the pictures, especially funny situations added in the background, which serve to place the story in the context of real life in a family where others besides the main character also have lives. However, this book doesn’t have much else that will make it appealing to children. The book focusses heavily on the main character’s angst about not having a pet, the family relationships she wants, the friends she wants, and therefore turns what the cover seems to promise is a lighthearted and fun book into a story that drags. This book does provide a look into how anyone, and particularly a child, can overcome their disappointments and that perseverance sometimes leads to an even better outcome than the disappointed dreamer is looking for. These are good lessons, and the book might be a good one, particularly for young readers struggling with things like disappointment or who specifically are having trouble dealing with allergies that prevent them from doing what they would like. However, overall, I don’t think the average middle grade reader would enjoy it.

Review of an Advanced Reading Copy provided by the Publisher

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  None

Violence/Gore:  A character finds a pet dead of natural causes.

Sex/Nudity:  None

Mature Subject Matter:

Death (pet, this is a brief scene that fills only a couple of panels of pictures); physical disability (severe allergies).

Alcohol / Drug Use:


Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

My taste in literature leans heavily towards sci-fi, fantasy, and (my favorite) horror, and the latter can present some fairly murky waters for parents to let their children explore. I enjoy novels of both the standard and graphic varieties. Since those genres, and graphic novels in particular, tend to appeal to boys, I hope that I can help other Boy Mommies in their quest to find books that their little video gamers--I mean, future bibliophiles will read and enjoy. When I am not reading, I enjoy tabletop role-playing games, video games, and singing karaoke. I have a wonderful husband who lets me indulge my reading habit by sharing the housework and being a great dad to our genius kids and their faithful hound.