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Book Title: Allergic, A Graphic Novel
Author: Megan Wagner Lloyd
Publication Date: March 2, 2021
Pages: 240 pages
Reading age: 9 – 12 years,
Audiobook narrators: Nneka Okafor, Kathleen McInerney, Ray Lee, Katie Koster, Greta Jung, Maxwell Glick, Matt Braver, Dan Bittner, Priya Ayyar, Ulka Simone Mohanty
Listening Length: 1 hour and 48 minutes
Allergic Book Summary:
Allergic is a coming-of-age middle-grade graphic novel for middle graders that features a young girl who longs for a pet. But she struggles to find the perfect one due to her severe allergic reactions.
Maggie is the odd one out at her slightly crowded family. Her parents are getting ready to welcome the new baby and her younger brothers are always busy in their own world.
So Maggie thinks the only way she can have a best friend is by getting a new puppy. But when she goes to an animal shelter to get her pet on her tenth birthday, she ends up in hives and rashes. After visiting the doctor, the family learns that Maggie has severe allergies towards anything with fur and feathers.
Will Maggie be able to find a way around her allergies to find her perfect pet? Author Megan Wagner Lloyd draws inspiration from her own experiences of dealing with allergies to tell this coming-of-age, middle-grade novel.
Praises for Allergic:
“There’s a lot packed into this graphic novel beyond the allergy storyline: how family dynamics change with a new baby’s arrival, how kids struggle to fit in and find friends. But while it addresses serious issues and emotions, Allergic, unlike hives and sneezing, is mostly madcap fun.” — The New York Times
“A heartachingly enjoyable tale of resilience.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Readers will root for this realistic and relatable fifth grader, who’s capable of kindness as well as envy and self-doubt… readers will easily identify with her trials and accomplishments.” — School Library Journal
“Allergic is the sweetest story you’ll read all year. A touching chronicle of a young girl’s severe allergies woven into a meaningful journey of friendship, family, and self-discovery.” — Terri Libenson, New York Times bestselling author of Invisible Emmie
Allergic: The Creative Muggle Review
Allergic is a heartfelt story of family with a great message for young children. I listened to the audio version of the book on Scribd. I can’t really comment about the illustrations, but having seen them on Amazon, I am sure kids would love it even more.
One of the best parts about the book I love is that along with a young girl’s struggle with allergies, the story also addresses the theme of dealing with disappointments and setbacks and dealing with new friends.
It seems to me that author Megan Lloyd has depicted a realistic portal of a ten-year old. The book sheds light on various issues that are often overlooked in kids. Things like adjusting to a new school and environment, dealing with severe allergic reaction, allergy shots, relationship with younger twin brothers, unable to get the attention of parents. The main character, Maggie, seems to have a hard time coping with these challenges.
There are also mentions of exercises such as yoga and breathing techniques that are equally helpful for parents and young readers.
Listening to the audiobook, I became sympathetic towards young Maggie. As a lover of animals, her frustration and helplessness resonated with me. Also I loved the part where she decides to work through the hardship. She is determined to find the solution. There are also lessons of resilience and perseverance. Allergic is a perfect graphic novel that discusses important topics that are worth reading or listening to.
Things that raised a red flag for me:
As young Maggie is unable to resist her wish for a pet, she sneaks one into her home. So worried parents take her to the doctor, as her allergy worsens, but once they realised the truth, she didn’t face any consequences.
Another concern I have with “Allergic” is the irresponsible message that the story might be sending out to young readers about pet care and ownership. Maggie’s family and she goes to bring pets( fish, lizard crab etc) without proper research. In a way, it could dismiss the importance of doing the proper analysis of each pet before giving them a home.
The Creative Muggle rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Overall I really enjoyed listening to Allergic by Megan Wagner Lloyd. It was a fun and heartwarming story for young readers on dealing with pets, friendship, loving family and self-discovery.
I highly recommend Allergic by Megan Wagner for many reasons, such as:
- It’s an easy to read graphic novel
- The audiobook version was, engaging and truly entertaining with multicast
- It chronicles a realistic life of a 10-year old who struggle to fit in
- It sends out the message of courage, persistence and kindness.
About the author:
Illustrator Michelle Mee Nutter is the co-creator, with Megan Wagner Lloyd, of Allergic, an instant bestseller. Michelle graduated with a degree in illustration from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.