Chunky by Yehudi Mercado

Published by Katherine Tegen Books

Chunky: Mercado, Yehudi, Mercado, Yehudi: 9780062972781: Amazon.com: Books
Chunky: Mercado, Yehudi, Mercado, Yehudi: 9780062972781: Amazon.com: Books

Summary:  Hudi just wants to hang out with his imaginary friend Chunky and make people laugh, but his parents think it’s better for him to play sports.  Not only are they concerned about his weight, but he had some health issues as a child that resulted in him losing part of a lung.  Most of the chapters have sports titles: “Soccer”, “Football”, “Swimming” as he tries one after and other and not only fails, but often ends up in the emergency room with some sort of injury.  in the last chapter “Theater”, he finds his true passion; his parents eventually come around and become his biggest cheerleaders.  Includes an author’s note with additional autobiographical information and a couple of photos.  208 pages; grades 3-7.

Pros:  An engaging graphic memoir; kids struggling to find their own identities will relate to Hudi’s difficulties on the sports field and cheer for him as he discovers where he really belongs–on stage.

Cons:  In his author’s note, Mercado says how he and his dad shared a passion for art.  While this is alluded to very briefly in the story, it would have been an interesting dimension of their relationship to play up a little more.

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