Sunday, August 18, 2019

MMGM (8/19/2019): Click by Kayla Miller

For MMGM, I am recommending the graphic novel Click by Kayla Miller.




          The main character of Click, fifth-grader Olive, is friends with basically every kid in her grade. She can strike up a conversation with anyone in school, and she often spends time with her classmates outside of school as well. However, when Olive's teacher announces that the fifth-graders will be putting on a variety show, things start to go awry. All of Olive's classmates form groups and start planning their acts, but none of them ask Olive to join. Olive wonders if her friendships meant anything if none of her friends think to include her—but would she even want to choose some of her friends over others for an act, when she likes them all? Olive's mother, Lucy, wants to reach out to the parents of Olive's friends and see if they will include her, but Olive doesn't want to force her way into a group that doesn't want her. However, Olive and her aunt Molly come up with an idea for the variety show that just might solve all of Olive's problems.
          Click is absolutely fantastic! One reason why is that it delves into the dynamics of school friendships in a meaningful way. Many books attempt to teach children to reach out to the people they want to be friends with, instead of just waiting for friends to come to them, but Click puts a new spin on this lesson. It asks, after you have already reached out to numerous other kids and they still don't think to include you, if it is worth attempting to be the third wheel in a group where you may not be wanted. There's no great answer to this question, but Click lays out the issue in a three-dimensional way so that Olive can make the right choice.
          I also like that Click makes sure to show readers both that Olive has actually reached out to others (she is constantly chatting with her classmates even as she feels left out) and that her classmates are interesting enough and nice enough that it is all the more painful for Olive to feel left out. The likability of these classmates leads into another interesting question that Click poses: if only a few of your friends reached out to include you, would you want to isolate yourself from all of your other friends by joining their group? Again, there is not a fabulous universal answer to this question, but there is a completely satisfying answer for Olive's specific situation, making the end of the story fulfilling and worth the wait.
          Another aspect of Click that I love is its emphasis on family. Olive's mother Lucy and aunt Molly both try to help Olive with the variety show. Although her mother's method of reaching out to other parents is a bit misguided, she clearly means well and wishes the best for Olive, which is nice to see. Olive's aunt Molly also puts a lot of thought into how best to help Olive, and she even invites Olive to stay with her for the night so that they can consider her options. (The solution they come up with is a satisfying one, by the way, and despite some subsequent conflict, the book ends happily.) Olive's family isn't perfect; her mom and aunt get into an argument at one point that is related to their own experiences in a variety show as kids. However, her family is always there for Olive, and sweet family moments (of Olive talking to Aunt Molly in the car, of Olive watching TV with her mom and younger brother, Simon, and of Olive, her mom, her aunt, and her brother all cooking a family meal together) remind readers that, even when friends can't be there for you, family can.
          Finally, I want to mention the art in Click. I love author Kayla Miller's art style—characters have expressive, detailed faces, detailed hair, and stylish outfits, and the environments that the story takes place in are fully fleshed out, from the books on the back seat of a car to a coffee mug with a saying printed on it. The color in Click (which seems to have been done by Miller and colorist Katherine Efird) is fantastic as well; bright colors abound, keeping readers' attention and maintaining an upbeat feeling. All in all, with its thoughtful treatment of the hard-to-answer questions about friendship, its emphasis on looking to family when friends fail you, its abundance of happy moments with both friends and family, and its wonderful art, Click is a graphic novel I recommend to absolutely everyone!

10 comments:

  1. Contemporary stories focused on friendships and family are my favorite. Olive sounds like a great character. I'll be looking for this one.

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    1. Olive is definitely a likable character! I hope you enjoy the book!

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  2. Sounds great! Congrats on your anniversary! Thank you for all the graphic novel recs, the students love them!

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  3. Wow! This sounds like a timely read with school starting. It covers a lot of themes and is fun. Not a fan of graphic novels, but I might try this one.

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  4. I loved Camp and now need to read this book soon!

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    1. I definitely want to try Camp next! I hope you like Click!

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  5. I like that there's an emphasis on family, especially because Olive's family isn't perfect. Nobody's perfect!

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  6. I don't read a lot of graphic novels, but I might make an exception for this story. It sounds great. Thanks for the post.

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