Peanut by Ayun Halliday and Paul Hoppe
When Sadie heads to a new school once again, she comes up with a grand plan. She orders a medical bracelet online and pretends to have a severe peanut allergy. Using this strategy, she does make some friends, including finding a boyfriend. However, the fake peanut allergy continues to be a problem, especially if she slips up and just eats a chip cooked in peanut oil. As it becomes more and more a focus of her life, she thinks about telling the truth to her friends. But it’s too late to come clean, because they would hate her for lying to them. This graphic novel steadily counts down to the disaster that readers will know is coming, creating tension laced with humor.
Halliday has created a character that we can all relate to. Sadie lies to make friends, her strange solution to being the new girl actually works. Sadie is insecure and as she grows in self-esteem the trap she finds herself in starts to tighten. She is a wonderful imperfect character, scolding her new boyfriend, lying to her mother, and of course lying to everyone at school. But through it all, she is likeable and universal.
Hoppe’s illustrations are done in black and white lines with Sadie’s sweater being a pop of red against the more subtle coloring. His drawings are fresh feeling and dynamic, often going for the laugh especially when the drama gets thick.
Perfect for those teens who enjoy Raina Telgemeier’s books, this graphic novel is filled with humor and tension. Appropriate for ages 12-15.
Reviewed from copy received from Schwartz & Wade.