illus. by Kayla Miller. 192p. HMH. Jan. 2019. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781328707352; pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781328911124.
Gr 3–6—Outgoing fifth grader Olive has a problem: she's good friends with almost everyone in her class, but she isn't best friends with anyone. She's perfectly happy in her role as floating social butterfly until it comes time for the big variety show, when all her friends form acts without her before she realizes what's going on. Olive sinks slowly into depression as she fails to "click" with any of her cliquey friend groups, until funky, green-haired Aunt Molly invites her over for an aunt-niece sleepover. After spending the night watching old TV variety shows, Olive is inspired by the witty hosts and hostesses who introduce and banter with the acts on their shows, and dreams about taking on that role herself for the variety show. Can she convince her friends and family that this is the right fit for her? Heavy lines and calm pastels create the perfect tone to offset this introspective story of self-discovery. Well-defined, consistent frames and gutters, along with clear-cut visual storytelling and readable lettering, make this an excellent recommendation for fans of the format and newcomers alike.
VERDICT Those who enjoy Raina Telgemeier, Victoria Jamieson, and the like will find this a lighter but welcome addition and be happy to hear Olive's adventures will continue.

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