Sink or Swim

Random House Graphic. (Just Roll with It). Jun. 2024. 320p. Tr $22.99. ISBN 9780593125519.
Gr 4-8–Ty is a middle school athlete who has been sidelined from the swim team by a broken arm. He begins to doubt himself, as his weight gain and time away from the pool will alter his role on the team, and his anxiety begins to affect his friendship with his fellow swimmer and best friend Max. Attending summer camp together tests their friendship as Ty struggles with his mental health and deals with the consequences of pushing Max away. The need to acknowledge when one needs help is addressed; however, a late-story romance takes the focus away from an otherwise strong story about friendship. Ty and his family are Latinx, and the book showcases a welcome mix of skin tones and body shapes among his classmates. This is the second graphic novel from Durfey-Lavoie and Agarwal in the "Just Roll with It" universe. This duo takes mental health very seriously and have crafted a poignant coming-of-age story with visual clues about drowning in emotions. The anime and chibi-style illustration will appeal to a young audience. This story can stand alone, but will appeal to youth who enjoyed Just Roll with It and Raina Telgemeier’s Guts.
VERDICT This graphic novel about anxiety, body image, and queerness is a recommended purchase for middle school library shelves.

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