Four Eyes: A Graphic Novel (Four Eyes #1)

Scholastic/Graphix. (Four Eyes: Bk. 1). May 2023. 224p. pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781338574968.
Gr 5-8–In Ogle’s graphic memoir, he explores universal adolescent themes including self-doubt, friendship troubles, and the pressure to conform. Rex is dreading the transition to middle school, especially since he will start with a group of students he’s never met before. He’s also struggling with his family dynamics, as he navigates having a stepdad, a half-brother, and a dad who just doesn’t seem to care about him. In school, Rex struggles to see the whiteboard in his classes, and he immediately stresses about how that will impact him and his academics. After a trip to the optometrist, Rex is branded with glasses. Between his “nerd-ware” and his mom’s job as a waitress at a restaurant, putting his socioeconomic status on display to his classmates, he’s not sure if he will survive the sixth grade. This coming-of-age story also tackles classism and stress related to non-traditional family dynamics. Reminiscent of Maria Scrivan’s illustrative style, Valeza’s captivating visual spreads seamlessly complement the plot and tone of the book. The dynamic and purposeful page layouts enable readers to concentrate on the flow and significance of the text.
VERDICT A great addition to graphic novel sections of libraries and classrooms in middle schools.

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