Peanut

Peanut

4.6 3
by Ayun Halliday, Paul Hoppe
     
 

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"Before you write me off as a delusional psycho, think about what it's like to be thrown into a situation where everyone knows everyone . . . and no one knows you." Sadie has the perfect plan to snag some friends when she transfers to Plainfield High—pretend to have a peanut allergy. But what happens when you have to hand in that student health form

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Overview

"Before you write me off as a delusional psycho, think about what it's like to be thrown into a situation where everyone knows everyone . . . and no one knows you." Sadie has the perfect plan to snag some friends when she transfers to Plainfield High—pretend to have a peanut allergy. But what happens when you have to hand in that student health form your unsuspecting mom was supposed to fill out? And what if your new friends want to come over and your mom serves them snacks? (Peanut butter sandwich, anyone?) And then there's the bake sale, when your teacher thinks you ate a brownie with peanuts. Graphic coming-of-age novels have huge cross-over potential, and Peanut is sure to appeal to adults and teens alike.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Pamela Paul
…a smart, affecting graphic young adult novel…The teenagers' dialogue is almost always witty, acerbic and perceptive, and also sweet when it needs to be. Sadie's allergy may be fake, but the sentiments in Peanut are not…
Publishers Weekly
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.)¦
VOYA - Laura Panter
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. Ages 15 to 18.
Children's Literature - Raina Sedore
What is the best way to get attention when you start going to a new high school? Sadie decides to fake a peanut allergy. What follows is a fairly predictable story of the consequences and complications that occur when we lie. A large amount of attention is paid to the logistics of lying about a medical condition, as Halliday writes about Sadie ordering a medical alert bracelet and attempting to get an EpiPen to convince the school nurse that her condition is legit. It is a classic lies-build-on-lies story. The most memorable character is not Sadie, the protagonist; rather, it is Zoo, the boy she becomes involved with. He eschews phones and technology in favor of uniquely folded handwritten notes. Hoppe renders Halliday's story in just a few colors, using mostly thin lines. His panel arrangements effectively communicate the story in an engaging, accessible way. This is an excellent selection for fans of Raina Telgemeier, Faith Erin Hicks, Laura Lee Gulledge, and Hope Larson. Halliday is well-known in feminist and zine circles; it is exciting to see her branching out into graphic novel fiction. This is a strong entry in the realistic teen graphic novel realm. Reviewer: Raina Sedore
Kirkus Reviews
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)
From the Publisher
Starred Review, School Library Journal, January 1, 2013:
“Librarians, teachers, and parents should definitely share this book with teens looking for realistic graphic novels about schools, friendship, peer pressure, or moral choices.”

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, November 26, 2012:
“It’s not easy being both hip and life- affirming, but this team has the secret formula.”

School Library Journal
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

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375865909
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
12/26/2012
Pages:
216
Sales rank:
262,087
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile:
HL470L (what's this?)
Age Range:
11 - 14 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Starred Review, School Library Journal, January 1, 2013:
“Librarians, teachers, and parents should definitely share this book with teens looking for realistic graphic novels about schools, friendship, peer pressure, or moral choices.”

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, November 26, 2012:
“It’s not easy being both hip and life- affirming, but this team has the secret formula.”

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