Reviews for Peanut


Booklist Reviews 2013 January #1
Almost everyone has dreamed of starting fresh at a new school: meeting the right people, standing out, becoming popular. Sadie, however, has moved eight times since she was born and is tired of being the new kid. In an effort to shortcut the distance between being new and being noticed, she lies about having a severe peanut allergy, figuring the invisibility of the problem combined with the snazzy medical alert bracelet will be her ticket to being special. But as her classmates, teachers, and the school nurse get involved in monitoring her "allergy," it becomes increasingly difficult for Sadie to keep her lie from exploding and leaving her new social life in ruins. Although the plot is standard, the information on this type of allergy adds to the interest and helps advance the story. Hoppe's blue-and-white artwork is simple yet expressive, and the addition of the color pink helps keep Sadie as the focal point of the story. Although the story is set in high school, younger teens will find a lot to like in this slice-of-life story. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
In this introspective graphic novel, Sadie breaks the ice with her new classmates by casually dropping hints about her severe peanut allergy. There's just one problem: Sadie isn't really allergic. This secret, shared only with readers, places Sadie in a series of increasingly awkward situations; underneath the many funny moments runs a poignant current. Pen-and-ink drawings capture nuances of a wide range of emotions.

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2013 #1
In this introspective graphic novel, Sadie is apprehensive about changing high schools during her sophomore year. She breaks the ice with her classmates by casually dropping hints about her severe peanut allergy. Soon Sadie's courage in the face of her serious medical condition and her dramatic tales of near-miss incidents attract new friends and a love interest. There's just one problem: Sadie isn't really allergic to peanuts. Inspired by a friend's suggestion that a new school provides "a do-over" and even the possibility of popularity, she has seized the opportunity to reinvent herself. Sadie orders a medical ID bracelet and researches epinephrine injectors to lend credence to her lies even as she agonizes over whether to 'fess up. This secret, shared only with readers, places Sadie in a series of increasingly awkward situations, from cringe-worthy (the bronze-plated peanut on a chain with which new beau Zoo proudly presents her) to utterly humiliating (a school bake sale "emergency" where the truth is revealed). Underneath the many funny moments runs a poignant current as readers recognize -- better than Sadie herself -- the high costs of her dishonesty. Pen-and-ink drawings, digitally colored in blue tones with Sadie always in red, capture nuances of a wide range of emotions: anxiety, self-satisfaction, guilt, betrayal, and ultimately, forgiveness. katie bircher

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 December #1
A faked allergy spins wildly out of control in this prosaic graphic novel. Starting at a new school, sophomore Sadie Wildhack is led by first-day jitters to concoct one whopper of a lie: She informs her classmates that she is gravely allergic to peanuts. Her feigned condition serves as the perfect segue into new conversations, and it eventually helps Sadie find friends and even a handsome boyfriend named Zoo. As most lies do, Sadie's catches up with her, and predictably, she is forced to confess to her prolonged pretense. While the theme of the story is universal (lying is bad!), here it is sadly pedestrian in its execution, verging on didactic. The notion of faking a peanut allergy feels juvenile, something better suited to a middle schooler than a high school student. Despite this, Hoppe's artistic style helps add some interest. Sadie's feelings of unease are visually palpable, evinced through her always-red shirt (and many wardrobe changes) set adrift against a backdrop of blacks, whites and grays. With its odd subject, this at times feels like an after school special, trying to show how relevant and edgy it could be, and is reminiscent of the failed Minx line from DC Comics. If readers can suspend some disbelief and simply roll with what's offered, perhaps this will work for them. (Graphic fiction. 12 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 November #4

Inventing a deadly peanut allergy isn't the first thing the average teenager would think of to make herself more interesting, but Halliday (Always Lots of Heinies at the Zoo) takes the idea and runs with it. The moment that sophomore Sadie Wildhack puts her scheme into action, tension starts to build. Chatter from new classmates ("I'm like ‘Oh my God, stop acting like you've got cancer!' ") makes it clear Sadie will find little sympathy. Commentary from homeroom teacher Mr. Larch provides just the right ironic counterpoint: "Ladies, please! This is algebra, not some tatty Guy de Maupassant story." The story's arc is a long, slow fall into public embarrassment; only the attention of Chris "Zoo" Suzuki, a Luddite who hand-delivers his love notes because he doesn't have a cellphone, saves Sadie from complete social failure. In loose gray cartoons accented with coral, Hoppe (Hat) provides maximum visual information without drawing attention to himself, nailing sequences like one in which Sadie imagines confessing, but struggles to find the words. It's not easy being both hip and life- affirming, but this team has the secret formula. Ages 11-14. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Jan.)¦

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 January

Gr 7 Up--Worried about transferring to a new school, Sadie comes up with the idea of faking a peanut allergy. She thinks that pretending to have a life-threatening condition will draw attention to her and generate sympathy. Her predictions come true, and she makes several new friends and even attracts a boyfriend. But as time passes, Sadie finds it harder and harder to keep up with her lies, and her story begins to unravel. The girl who became best known for having a peanut allergy is heading toward a future in which she will become best known for being a liar, and she will have to deal with the backlash from people who knew her under false pretenses. Sadie is an empathetic character, and readers will relate to her nervousness about fitting in, her emotional tug-of-war with her mother, and the ups and downs of her friendships. Hoppe's cartoon illustrations are primarily in grayscale but he also uses one color (red) to highlight Sadie's character or objects like a flower from her boyfriend. Librarians, teachers, and parents should definitely share this book with teens looking for realistic graphic novels about schools, friendship, peer pressure, or moral choices.--Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library

[Page 137]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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VOYA Reviews 2012 December
Sadie has lived in eight houses since birth, never spending many years at any school she attends. Fitting in at a new school is complete torture for Sadie when everyone knows everyone and no one knows her. With plans to make an impression at Plainfield Community High School, Sadie's brilliant idea is to tell everyone she has a peanut allergy. She even goes as far as ordering a specialized medical bracelet online. At first, this gains her tons of attention, new friends, and a boyfriend. Her carefully constructed new life at PCHS comes crashing down when a teacher discovers she has eaten a chocolate zucchini cake with a walnut center. As the paramedics rush to Sadie's aid, she must confess her lies to the nurse, her teachers, and her classmates. From shining star to shunned outcast, Sadie must live with the consequences of her actions, wondering if her storytelling was really worth it Halliday and Hoppe have written a realistic graphic novel about teenage insecurity and the desire to belong. Emphasis is put on the importance of Sadie having friends, which will resonate with teenage girls who put popularity at a premium. Information on what teens really go through having a life threatening food allergy gives other teens an educational awareness for peers who have to check everything they eat each day. The black-and-white illustrations are well drawn, with the choice to depict Sadie wearing a red top in each frame a symbolic color for her situation. This is a good selection for both public and school libraries with graphic novel collections.--Laura Panter 4Q 4P S Graphic Format Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.

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