cover image Allergic


Megan Wagner Lloyd and Michelle Mee Nutter. Graphix, $24.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-338-56890-5

This sincere graphic novel follows 10-year-old Maggie Wilson, who, hoping to adopt a puppy on a birthday visit to an animal shelter, instead learns that she’s highly allergic to any animal with fur or feathers. The discovery compounds existing feelings of loneliness—her younger twin brothers have each other, her parents are preparing to welcome a new baby, and Maggie’s starting at a new school thanks to redrawn boundary lines. New neighbor Claire, an only child with a permissive artist father, is a promising friend, and both appreciate the other’s family until Claire gets a dog, and Maggie feels betrayed by both her body and her bestie. The girls resolve their differences through honest conversation, and Maggie begins to find her place in her family and her way to new passions. Debut illustrator Nutter’s realistic art cues Maggie and her siblings as biracial against a suburban Sacramento, Calif., backdrop. In this warm and well-paced story, Lloyd (Paper Mice) shows with nuance how empathy and connection can help a person navigate circumstances outside their control, making this an encouraging tale for young readers engaging with the world of pets, family, and friendships. Ages 8–12. [em]Author’s agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Kelly Sonnack, Andrea Brown Literary. (Mar.) [/em]