Click by Kayla Miller
Olive “clicks” with everyone in the fifth grade—until one day she doesn’t. When a school variety show leaves Olive stranded without an act to join, she begins to panic, wondering why all her friends have already formed their own groups . . . without her. With the performance drawing closer by the minute, will Olive be able to find her own place in the show before the curtain comes up?
Oh my gosh, I loved this book! Librarians, teachers, parents, you have to get this book for the fifth grader in your life!
There’s so much good stuff to talk about, I’m not really sure where to begin. I guess the illustrations are as good a place as any. Such a nice blend between cute/cartoony and realistic to appeal to a wide range of kids. I love that Olive actually changes clothes and doesn’t just wear the same stock clothes for the whole book, and I LOVE the diversity of her classmates. Miller did a really good job of showing character emotions without having to add a whole bunch of distractions details to the pictures. I felt like I really got to know Olive, and she was just illustrated really well.
The story was great too. I think most kids have been in a place like Olive, where they feel left out of their friend group. But what I really loved about this book was that instead of getting catty and picking fights, Olive and her friends actually end up being really supportive of each other and handling their conflicts with maturity. I think if we want kids to treat each other with respect they have to see it modeled somewhere, and this book really does that. Also, all the bonus points for boy/girl friendships without making a big deal about it!
But where I think this book really shines is in the wide range of characters. Olive is average enough that I think every kid is going to find something to relate to in her, but her friends have all kinds of different interests and styles. There are cheerleaders, karate fighters, magicians, and more, which means lots of different kinds of kids are going to be able to see themselves in the characters. And unlike in so many books, the kids’ clothing styles and attitudes reflect their personalities, which I think is going to make this a lot more realistic for kids.
Overall, I think Miller did an outstanding job at showing exactly what it’s like to be eleven and mad at your friends. I think kids are going to really connect with this book, and I think they’re going to love it even more than I did. Librarians, parents, go! Buy!