Your Turn, Adrian

Groundwood. May 2019. 72p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781773061498.
Gr 2-5–Originally published in Sweden as Din tur, Adrian in 2015, this graphic novel tells the story of a young boy who encounters problems at school. Adrian is bullied, and he struggles to connect with other children. When he is called on to read by a teacher, he freezes, unable to make out the words. His vivid daydreams about joining the circus offer an escape. But everything changes when Adrian finds a lost dog, whom he names Heidi. She becomes his companion and eases his anxiety, following him everywhere he goes. The book is divided into three short chapters, and minimal sentences and speech bubbles make the text accessible for struggling readers. Striking illustrations convey Adrian’s state of mind; spare pencil drawings depict stress and unhappiness, while his inner life and interactions with Heidi are shown in vibrant, full-page layouts. This sweet, short story is an effective resource for students with learning disabilities, as well as those experiencing bullying or anxiety, though the simple plot may not have wide appeal to a larger audience.
VERDICT  A sensitive portrayal of a boy experiencing isolation; a worthwhile secondary purchase for libraries serving middle grade audiences.

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