GRAPHIC NOVELS

Nat Enough

Scholastic/Graphix. Apr. 2020. 240p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781338538212; pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781338538199.
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Gr 3-6–“Enough is one of those words that looks like it’s spelled wrong even when it isn’t. Whatever it is, I don’t have it.” Pouring out her heart into her sketchbook, self-deprecating Natalie confides that she doesn’t feel smart, athletic, or popular enough, but her tight friendship with Lily has bolstered her. But when the girls begin middle school, Lily finds a new best friend, and Natalie feels cast adrift. As she struggles to let go of her old friendship, she befriends new classmates and discovers hidden talents. Natalie’s new buddies point out that Lily might not be a great friend to Nat, but it takes time for Nat to see this and to recognize the new friends she has made. Scrivan’s exuberant, comic strip–esque art and simple dialogue will entice a range of readers, who will relate to Nat’s insecurities. Each chapter starts with a quick comic about Nat’s cat and dog, whose antics give hints about what will happen to Natalie. The narrative unfolds at a measured pace, but readers will find themselves turning pages to discover what happens.
VERDICT Fans of Shannon Hale’s Real Friends or Amy Ignatow’s “The Popularity Papers” seeking another tale about the highs and lows of friendship will take comfort in seeing earnest Nat come into her own.
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