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Book Reviews

Book Review: Squint by Chad Morris & Shelly Brown

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Middle Grade
Rating: 3 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: No

 

Summary (via Goodreads):
My name is Flint, but everyone in middle school calls me Squint because I’m losing my vision. I used to play football, but not anymore. I haven’t had a friend in a long time. Thankfully, real friends can see the real you, even when you can’t clearly see.

Flint loves to draw. In fact, he’s furiously trying to finish his comic book so he can be the youngest winner of the “Find a Comic Star” contest. He’s also rushing to finish because he has keratoconus—an eye disease that could eventually make him blind.

McKell is the new girl at school and immediately hangs with the popular kids. Except McKell’s not a fan of the way her friends treat this boy named Squint. He seems nice and really talented. He draws awesome pictures of superheroes. McKell wants to get to know him, but is it worth the risk? What if her friends catch her hanging with the kid who squints all the time?

McKell has a hidden talent of her own but doesn’t share it for fear of being judged. Her terminally ill brother, Danny, challenges McKell to share her love of poetry and songwriting. Flint seems like someone she could trust. Someone who would never laugh at her. Someone who is as good and brave as the superhero in Flint’s comic book named Squint.

Squint is the inspiring story of two new friends dealing with their own challenges, who learn to trust each other, believe in themselves, and begin to truly see what matters most.

~~~~~~~~~~

My Review:
Squint is an okay story with some interesting elements and main character. But there is very little character growth. I couldn’t get into what was happening.

Flint suffers from a rare eye disease that requires him to wear so-not-cool eye glasses. Because of this he gets teased, especially by his former best friend, Gavin. The kids at school have nicknamed him “Squint.”

I didn’t like how as the story advanced Flint became (or so it seemed to me) more a witness/background character than a main character who drives the story forward.

But Flint has a cool fascination with comic books, notably the one he is currently creating to enter into a contest. His world revolves around comics. They are his escape from reality – the only relatable part in the whole story (at least for me).

McKell’s story wasn’t as interesting and felt more like it was just a vehicle to advance Flint’s story and prompt change. The parts about McKell’s brother, Danny, were fun to read. Although he’s never exactly present in the story, his character is far more dynamic than McKell.

I liked how the story blended comic book rules and middle school rules. These rules kind of become Flint’s guide to navigating life.

Standout moments were the pages where you actually get to read a narrative of Flint’s comic as it’s being drawn. It parallels well with what’s going on. Flint is a hero in his comic (perfectly named Squint) and life, master of his own story.

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