by Megan Wagner Lloyd (Author) Michelle Mee Nutter (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 4th − 5th Grade

A coming-of-age middle-grade graphic novel featuring a girl with severe allergies who just wants to find the perfect pet!

At home, Maggie is the odd one out. Her parents are preoccupied with getting ready for a new baby, and her younger brothers are twins and always in their own world. Maggie loves animals and thinks a new puppy to call her own is the answer, but when she goes to select one on her birthday, she breaks out in hives and rashes. She's severely allergic to anything with fur!

Can Maggie outsmart her allergies and find the perfect pet? With illustrations by Michelle Mee Nutter, Megan Wagner Lloyd uses inspiration from her own experiences with allergies to tell a heartfelt story of family, friendship and finding a place to belong.

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Vibrant... easy to recommend.

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review

A heartachingly enjoyable tale of resilience.

School Library Journal

Gr 3-6--The oldest in her family, Maggie is often left attention-starved among her younger twin brothers and working parents, especially now that her mom is pregnant, but a puppy will change that. However, the much-anticipated trip to the animal shelter ends with Maggie itching, sneezing, and breaking out in hives--turns out she is allergic to anything with fur or feathers. A puppy is out of the question, and she must endure allergy shots. Maggie makes a best friend in new neighbor Claire but feels insecure and even jealous--Claire's father seems to let her do anything she wants, and when Claire adopts a puppy, Maggie is sent into a tailspin. Still, Maggie perseveres, realizing that no one's life is perfect, learning to live with allergies, and looking forward to her new sibling's arrival. Readers will root for this realistic and relatable fifth grader, who's capable of kindness well as envy and self-doubt. Lloyd folds in information about allergy tests, anaphylaxis, EpiPens, and other facts that Maggie and her friend Sebastian, who also has allergies, recite to each other. Layouts rely on three to four large panels per page, creating a smooth visual flow; Nutter's muted, uncluttered art has a cozy feel. Maggie and her family are brown-skinned, Claire is Asian, and Sebastian is white. VERDICT Maggie makes new pals here--she'll find even more friends in elementary and middle school libraries, where readers will easily identify with her trials and accomplishments.--Thomas Maluck, Richland Lib., SC

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Praise for Allergic:

Allergic is the sweetest story you'll read all year. A touching chronicle of a young girl's severe allergies woven into a meaningful journey of friendship, family, and self-discovery. — Terri Libenson, New York Times bestselling author of Invisible Emmie

Readers will root for this realistic and relatable fifth grader, who's capable of kindness as well as envy and self-doubt... readers will easily identify with her trials and accomplishments. — School Library Journal

Megan Wagner Lloyd
MICHELLE MEE NUTTER is the co-creator, with Megan Wagner Lloyd, of Allergic, an instant bestseller. Michelle graduated with a degree in illustration from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Her work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, 3x3 Illustration, Creative Quarterly, and more. Michelle lives in Boston.
MEGAN WAGNER LLOYD is the co-creator, with Michelle Mee Nutter, of Allergic, an instant bestseller. Megan is also the author of several picture books, including Paper Mice, Building Books, Finding Wild, and Fort-Building Time, and of Haven, a novel. She lives in the Washington, DC area.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
March 02, 2021
BISAC categories
JUV002190 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Pets
JUV039150 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Special Needs
Library of Congress categories

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