Squished by Megan Wagner Lloyd, illustrated by Michelle Mee Nutter

Published by Graphix

Summary:  Avery Lee’s life is full of ups and downs, in large part due to her big family.  She’s the second oldest of seven siblings, which makes for a lot of chaos and not much alone time to pursue the art she loves.  Her older brother just got his own room, which Avery sees as totally unfair, and when her friend Cameron tells her his family is building a bedroom in the basement, Avery decides to do some fundraising to earn money for her own construction.  Dog-walking and a lemonade stand each have their share of pitfalls, and before long Avery gets some news that derails all her plans…her mom has taken a new job, and the family is moving from Maryland to Oregon.  Avery is heartbroken to be leaving her friends and beloved hometown, but the promise of her own room in the new house makes the move a bit sweeter.  256 pages; grades 3-7.

Pros:  From the team that brought you Allergic, Squished is a complete delight, giving a sweet and realistic portrayal of life in a big family with sibling, school, and friendship issues that many readers will recognize.  If you’re buying for a library, get an extra copy or two.

Cons:  I struggled to keep all the kids straight; you might want to bookmark the labeled photo on page 15 for easy reference.

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