44 pages 1 hour read

Megan Wagner Lloyd, Illustr. Michelle Mee Nutter


Fiction | Graphic Novel/Book | Middle Grade | Published in 2021

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Important Quotes

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“It was my tenth birthday, and it was going to be the best birthday of my whole life.”

(Chapter 1, Page 4)

These words open the graphic novel and convey Maggie’s excitement as she anticipates getting a puppy. The word “best” shows the simplicity of dualistic, all-or-nothing thinking common in children her age. This excitement, which later flips to utter disappointment when she finds out that she’s allergic to dogs, is important to the plot because if she weren’t so excited, her letdown wouldn’t be so hard.

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“The baby wasn’t even born yet and it was already taking up way too much of their time…but Mom and Dad could keep being baby obsessed, for all I cared.”

(Chapter 1, Page 13)

Maggie thinks her parents are focused on the coming baby to the exclusion of all else. Here, she implies that she’s okay with this, but the fact that she considers them “obsessed” suggests that she probably isn’t happy about it. While she thinks these thoughts, her parents are talking in the front seat of their minivan and her brothers are playing in the back seat, leaving Maggie alone in the middle seat, with no one engaging her in their conversation or actions. Both the words and the illustration give the impression that she’s lonely in her home.

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“Looks like some intense animal allergies here.”

(Chapter 2, Page 29)

The doctor’s words emphasize the crux of Maggie’s problem. She desperately wants a pet, especially a dog, but learns that she’s allergic to animals with fur or feathers. She becomes distressed after hearing this news. Maggie’s allergies pose the central problem in the novel and influence various scenes.