Kayla Miller, Click, Walker Books, October 2021, 208 pp., RRP $17.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781760654870
Graphic novels have taken the kidlit world by storm in the last few years and while gate-keepers might be slow on the uptake, kids are clamouring for more. The comic-book style provides a tantalising gateway for exploring serious issues, including bullying, identity, and racism, affecting kids aged 7 years and up.
Click, which focuses on fourth grader Olive, is a great introduction to the genre for girls in middle primary. Olive is the kind of girl who has lots of friends but yearns for a BFF. When the school variety show is announced, Olive’s friends all form performance groups – without her. The friends seem oblivious to the fact that Olive feels rejected and isolated.
After a visit to Aunt Molly’s Olive hits on the idea of being the Variety Show host, providing entertaining introductions and banter between acts. She even has the self-confidence to decline a group of friends who belatedly ask her to join their group, holding fast to her plan to be a fabulous host.
This theme of being part of a clique or group, particularly in relation to sport and entertainment, will resonate strongly with kids in mid to late primary. While Olive ultimately finds her own solutions, she is well supported by the adults in her life.
Reviewed by Heather Gallagher