Written by Megan Wagner Lloyd
Illustrated by Michelle Mee Nutter

Maggie is feeling lonely. Her dad and mom are preoccupied with the upcoming arrival of a brand new child, and her youthful twin brothers have one another. She yearns for a pet. Whereas she’s lastly allowed to decide on one on her tenth birthday, her dream is shattered when she breaks out in hives and learns she has extreme allergy symptoms.

One of many issues I really like about this graphic novel is the best way it tackles an emotion all of us expertise: disappointment. Maggie is totally devastated when she realizes her allergy symptoms have ruined her possibilities of ever proudly owning something with fur or feathers, however she retains optimistic and tries to give you one other type of pet. How a couple of fish? (She will get one and it dies inside days.) A lizard? (Her brothers bond with it first.)

She does some analysis. Snake? Likes to eat mice. Frog? No touching or dealing with. Turtle? Hibernates for a number of months a yr. Tortoise? Lives “for many years”! Her dad and mom “can’t commit.” Hermit crab: The identify says all of it. Hedgehog: Unlawful. Tarantula? OK, by no means thoughts.

Then Maggie’s next-door neighbor and finest buddy, Claire, will get a pet. Cue raging jealousy.

My 10-year-old self can utterly relate. Once I was 10 I, too, lived subsequent door to my finest buddy, and we had been each loopy about horses. I’m not likely certain why. I had by no means been close to a horse they usually barely terrified me. We each begged our dad and mom for using classes. Her dad and mom mentioned sure and mine mentioned no. (My mum and pa appropriately suspected that my sudden curiosity in all issues equine was a passing fancy.) The jealousy I felt after I noticed my buddy head off to the stables was agonizing.

In “Allergic,” the illustrator Michelle Mee Nutter brilliantly captures Maggie’s tortured feelings as she watches Claire work together with the one factor she herself actually desires.

These emotions are painful.

One other great factor about this novel is that it reveals how an allergy is recognized and handled. Megan Wagner Lloyd’s personal experiences with allergy symptoms impressed her to jot down the ebook, and I can see it being an enormous assist for younger readers who, like Maggie, are going by way of skin-prick exams and allergy photographs.

A personality I notably like is Sebastian, a boy at college who turns into Maggie’s confidant when he reveals his allergy to eggs. He has had some scary allergic reactions and gives perception into the way it feels to hold an EpiPen round on a regular basis.

Sebastian is smart past his years. He has discovered to simply accept that there are just a few issues he can not do — in contrast to Maggie, who has smuggled a pet mouse into her bed room.

That is her last try at proudly owning a furry buddy. The plan backfires when she tries to cover the truth that she’s having an allergic response, and the mouse — sure, it’s true — unexpectedly multiplies. Maggie’s secret is ultimately uncovered by her “traitor” youthful brothers, who she discovers, in a touching scene, love her greater than she has realized.

There’s lots packed into this graphic novel past the allergy story line: how household dynamics change with a brand new child’s arrival, how children battle to slot in and discover mates. However whereas it addresses critical points and feelings, “Allergic,” in contrast to hives and sneezing, is usually madcap enjoyable.

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