Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Lucy the Octopus by Richy K. Chandler - ADVISABLE

Lucy the Octopus by Richy K. Chandler, 136 pages. GRAPHIC NOVEL. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2018 $19.

Language: PG (10 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG



Being cool is a big deal. As uncool as Lucy is, she doesn’t have any friends and even her family wouldn’t be upset if she forgot where she lived and didn’t come home. Despite the opinions and actions of those around her, Lucy finds ways to thrive and pursue her dreams. Others can knock her down, but Lucy is the kind of octopus who gets back up and keeps going through prejudices, bullies, and sea monsters.

While this book exaggerates the need to be cool, I think it honestly reflects how it can feel to be labeled as “uncool” in school. I love that Lucy’s experiences highlight how optimism and talent can thrive despite bullying from others and encourage readers to find success being themselves -- even if it takes longer and is harder than looking for acceptance with the “cool” crowd. Throughout life, there are many times that we might feel excluded and picked on like Lucy, and I hope that we can all be a little more like Sydney: brave enough to be someone’s first friend and not care about the construct of being “cool.” Both the story and the illustrations were amazing and made me want to keep reading through the end.

Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen

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