Primary Genre(s): Middle grade
Published: 2 Oct 2018 by Shadow Mountain
Page count: 256
My Format: audiobook via Overdrive
Do I Recommend: Yes
Commission Link (U.S.): Buy Squint
My rating: ★★★★★
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 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.
I recently had to do several hours of driving, so I quickly selected the first middle grade audiobook from Overdrive that caught my attention. I made a fantastic choice! Here are my pros and cons for Squint:
- I love that the lead character is a boy. I read a lot of books that feature women or girls, so it is nice when a male character is the protagonist for a change.
- This book is chockful of superheroes, comic books, zombie jokes, football stories, and rules on how to survive middle school. It is also incredibly and surprisingly profound, full of grief, hope, and love.
- This book is about seeing. Not just the capability of sight, although that is also a large part of the story… but really seeing. Observing others. Paying attention. Getting to know people. It is about using more than just your eyes to see the things in the world around us that are special and important. I loved how the author utilized the concept of seeing with our eyes along with the concept of “seeing” with our hearts (e.g., understanding and accepting others).
- The relationship between Flint (aka Squint) and McKell (the new girl in school) is incredibly endearing.
- The relationship between Flint and his grandparents (who are also his guardians) was exceptionally heartfelt. There is a particular scene between Flint and his grandfather that had me in tears. Incredibly emotional!
- There is a lot of pain, and loss, and bullying, and disappointment in this book. A LOT OF IT! But it is also sweet, uplifting, hopeful, and joyous. This is why I love middle grade books so much – they can be amazingly painful sometimes, but the ultimate positivity is so amazing that it makes it 110% worth reading.
- There is a great second story in the book in the form of the comic book Flint is writing. The comic book reflects, in a grandiose superhero manner, a lot of what Flint is experiencing in his real life and I loved that it was shared in the main story in such a prominent way.
I loved this book. I highly recommend it. Everyone should read it. I can’t gush about it enough!
If you would like to read this book and form your own opinion, please consider purchasing through this link: Buy Squint. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Thanks!
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