I just LOVE what is happening in middle grade graphic novels these days. Great portrayals of female protagonist, unique family dynamics, medical conditions and disabilites, friendships, siblings, wow. And guess what? This new graphic novel, Allergic, has them all! It’s a five star read for me and a must-read for anyone who has loved the BSC graphic novels, the Terri Libenson books, Stepping Stones by Lucy Knisley, or is interested in graphic medicine.

Maggie’s 10th birthday is going to be the best one every because she’s finally going to get a puppy. Once she loads her pregnant mom, her dad, and twin brothers into the car and gets to the adoption place though…things go downhill quick. They find the perfect puppy, but Maggie can’t stop sneezing and her face is swelling up. Soon, it’s pretty clear that Maggie has an allergy to pets with fur and feathers. When an attempt to find the perfect non-furry non-feathered pet goes awry, Maggie decides to settle into the joy of a new friend, Claire, until one day Claire announces she’s gotten a new puppy. How is Maggie supposed to cope with that? Will she find the perfect pet that will let her feel needed as her family evolves to welcome a new kid? Will she come to understand her allergy, instead of hating it?

This is a super cute middle grade graphic novel! Maggie’s a super adorable character–realistic and strong but flawed and always growing! The family dynamic is super fun–a loving dad, a pregnant mom, twin brothers who seem to be attached at the hip but aren’t necessarily monsters in training. I loved the way the story evolved–it wasn’t just a “woe is me I’m allergic to puppy” story and the friendship with Claire had twists and turns too. And the ending is sweet as ever, duh, it’s middle grade, haha.

The art work of this was also splendid–I was reading an ARC on my computer so I bet it’s even better in person! Beautiful, peachy coloring!

Give this a read when it hits shelves this March, and be sure to gift it to all the middle-graders who love animals in your life.

Allergic is on sale everywhere March 2, 2021


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