Click is the debut graphic novel from American author Kayla Miller.
Fifth grade Olive is well-liked. She converses easily with lots of her peers and flits between many different friendship groups. When class teacher, Mr. Florez, announces that there will be a fifth grade variety show, everyone is buzzing with excitement and ideas. As the children partner up and create groups to perform everything from magic to karate to dances, Olive finds herself on the outside. With no-one asking her to join their group she feels unwanted and alone. Support comes from a rather funky aunt who provides Olive with some inspiration and allows her to find the perfect role where she can support all her friends and embrace a role that she truly desires.
Click is a believable and accurate experience of a young girl navigating the choppy waters of friendship and trying to work out exactly where she fits in with her peers. Unlike many books that deal with the issue of friendship, Olive is not lonely and isolated but rather the opposite. She is that child that everyone likes and embraces but doesn’t truly connect with and she is without a real best friend and this in itself is the problem. She easily transitions from one group of friends to another but doesn’t feel like she properly ‘clicks’ with any of them. She doesn’t share their passion for certain hobbies or have similar interests and this comes to light when the children separate themselves into groups for the variety show. Olive and the issues that she deals with are completely relatable and will strike a chord with many readers. As well as friendship issues there are family issues explored through Olive’s mum who only has Olive’s best interests at heart but who comes across as an interfering parent who wants to solve her daughter’s problems.
What I really love about this book and Olive is that she comes to understand that it is perfectly acceptable to be part of lots of different friendship groups. Too often children feel the need to belong to one particular group, Olive is a beacon of independence and strength and shows that the close ‘click’ to a group is only worthwhile if you feel that you truly belong.
The illustrations are excellent throughout and are in pastel colours and tones. Main protagonist Olive is white while many of her classmates are people of colour - something that is lovely to see.
Further graphic novels with other challenges that Olive deals with whilst at school are explored in Camp (2019), Act (2020) and Clash (Coming July 2021).
Recommended for 9+.