Maggie loves animals and has been waiting patiently to get a dog, only to discover that she’s allergic. She’s also dealing with a changing family in which she feels less and less like she belongs. Her two little brothers are seemingly obsessed with each other and couldn’t care less about her. Her mother is heavily pregnant and excited for the new baby.
Maggie starts getting shots to get her allergies under control while on the hunt for a hypoallergenic pet. Things appear to be looking up when Maggie meets Claire, an only child living with her single dad who indulges her every whim. Claire is one grade above Maggie but the two become fast friends — until Claire gets a dog.
I loved this graphic novel. The illustrations are so beautiful and realistic. I felt Maggie’s frustration and her yearning for belonging throughout the story. Maggie’s family also plays a central role to the story, and I liked how involved her parents were even as she struggled.
The depiction of a fur allergy is powerful. Maggie is covered in a rash very quickly and with the illustrations, you can easily see how people with a variety of allergies feel when triggered.
Maggie’s friendship with Claire, despite the ups and downs was also healthy. Both girls learn that families can look different and that sometimes we want what others have, not appreciating our own gifts. Eventually, Maggie befriends a boy at school with a food allergy who uses an EpiPen. Maggie also does something sneaky that I don’t want to give away, but I predict this book will be a huge hit for graphic novel lovers.
Allergic is a sweet, realistic depiction of what it’s like to suffer with allergies. This graphic novel features stunning illustrations, a lovable protagonist, and a rambunctious family. Among other things, readers will feel Maggie’s strong love for animals, the complex emotions of nurturing a friendship despite differences, and the struggle to find one’s place at home as a tween. I loved this one and would definitely recommend.
Buy This Book
I received an eARC of this book from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review.
More Graphic Novel Reviews
Have you read any middle grade books with excellent depictions of allergies? I loved Joy McCullough’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost.