When I heard that Megan Wagner Lloyd and Michelle Mee Nutter (of Allergic fame) were coming back with another graphic novel, I knew I had to have Squished on my radar. I was so eager that I actually read this book last year as soon as I got the advance copy.
Avery has SIX siblings and is feeling squished at home so she’s crushed when her older brother Theo gets the first chance to room alone. She has to share a room with her younger siblings Pearl and Max. On top of that, she often babysits the youngest three siblings. Her dad is a teacher and her mom is studying to become a programmer so things can be hectic at home. Avery decides to get a job so she can earn money and set up a basement bedroom. But just when she’s finding her groove, it appears that the family will have to move to another city — away from the friends and neighborhood Avery has come to love.
This is a very slice-of-life graphic novel about Avery’s life and challenges in a huge family where it feels easy to get lost in the crowd. She has to cope with struggles sleeping because her brother Max keeps getting up at night and she’s sometimes too tired to do what she likes, like making art. The summer is so eventful as Avery tries to hang out with her friends, spend time with her siblings, and persuade her parents to give her a room of her own.
Like with Allergic, I loved the illustrations in this book and I thought the plot was realistic. Avery also misses her big brother Theo who’s now a teen and no longer as close with her as they used to be when he was a preteen. Another thing I loved were that Avery shares her occasional discontent with being part of a huge family with her mom, who talks about their reasons for it with her. I know people in Western countries can be funny about larger families so it was nice to have that addressed.
Squished is a heartwarming, relatable middle grade book about being part of a large family, navigating sibling relationships, and adjusting to change. This sweet graphic novel has appealing illustrations and an adorable cast of characters. Readers will root for Avery through her challenges and will love the satisfying ending.
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More Book Reviews
- Allergic by Megan Wagner Lloyd and Michelle Mee Nutter
- The Tryout by Christina Soontornvat
- Measuring Up by Lily LaMotte and Anne Xu
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