Review by Booklist Review
The best-selling creators of Allergic are back with an all-new story about handling change at a young age. Korean American Avery Lee lives in Hickory Valley, Maryland, and though she struggles with feelings caused from being squished in a house with her six other siblings, she loves her town. She shares a room with her sister Pearl and infant brother, Max, but she dreams of having her very own room away from all the noise and distractions, where she can be free to focus on her art. When she learns that her friend Cameron's family is building a bedroom in their basement, she's inspired to spend the summer before sixth grade raising money for a similar project at her own house. But change is on the horizon, and it might ruin her plans. Nutter's warm and appealing artwork comically captures the crowded chaos of the Lee household and the matter-of-fact diversity of the town, and the sun-dappled visuals will appeal to anyone who loves the work of Raina Telgemeier or Shannon Hale. Avery's ingenuity and determination are truly charming, and the message that, though change is scary and unavoidable, it often has its positives, is a great one for the target age group. This stirring and dynamic graphic novel is sure to win a lot of hearts.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Lloyd and Nutter (Allergic) reteam in this energetic graphic novel, a meditation on adolescence and the strengths and challenges that large families can engender. Eleven-year-old artist Avery Lee is the second oldest child in a boisterous Korean American brood. Being constantly surrounded by mischievous younger siblings and sharing a room with her eight-year-old sister prompts Avery to covet the holy grail: her own room. But when her parents reveal that they're giving her eldest brother, 13-year-old Theo, his own room instead, Avery decides to spend her summer vacation scheming up ways to make money to convert the family basement into her new abode. Dog-walking and lemonade-selling plans veer into chaos when Theo accidentally reveals that their parents are planning to move the family from Maryland to Oregon. Brightly colored landscapes and keen dialogue artfully depict common eldest daughter woes as Avery struggles with being the de facto caretaker of her siblings. The creators instill Avery with a strong sense of self that both buoys her mercurial familial relationships and imbues them with authentic, empathetic conflicts. It's this verisimilitude--suffused with many tears, laughs, and sobering moments--that shapes the core of this heartwarming jaunt. Ages 8--12. (Mar.)
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Review by Kirkus Book Review
A young girl struggles to find her own space among her many siblings. Eleven-year-old Avery Annie Lee is one of seven children in a family living in a small, bucolic town in Maryland. Avery loves art; her two BFFs, Dani and Cameron; and the annual end-of-summer fair. After the latest embarrassing incident, this one involving her toddler brother at fifth grade graduation, Avery is tormented with adolescent agita: Her large family makes her endlessly self-conscious and irritated, leaving her yearning for a room of her own and the coveted solitude it would afford her. When she learns from her older brother that her parents are considering uprooting the family and moving to Oregon, Avery is thrown. This sophomore stand-alone graphic novel from Lloyd and Nutter, whose earlier collaboration brought readers Allergic (2021), is another absolute delight. Lloyd's carefully nuanced characters feel all too real and are masterfully brought to life by Nutter's stylish, full-color art. The dynamics among the Lee family members are adroitly rendered, down to the littlest exchanges; in one brief scene, Mr. Lee brings the kids to the skating rink, and another dad asks if all the kids are his as the scene cuts to a close-up of a visually deflated and obviously embarrassed Avery. Those who relish the tales of Raina Telgemeier, Jennifer L. Holm, and Kayla Miller will be utterly captivated. The Lees are implied Korean American; Dani is White, and Cameron is Black. A charming and achingly relatable snapshot of life in a big family. (Graphic fiction. 8-12) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.