Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher to review. This post may contain affiliate links. I get a small commission if you purchase an item from an affiliate.
Squint by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown
Release date: October 2, 2018
Published by: Shadow Mountain
Recommended age range: 8-12 years
Page numbers: 256
My name is Flint, but everyone in middle school calls me Squint because I’m losing my vision. I used to play football, but not anymore. I haven t had a friend in a long time. Thankfully, real friends can see the real you, even when you can’t clearly see.
Flint loves to draw. In fact, he’s furiously trying to finish his comic book so he can be the youngest winner of the Find a Comic Star contest. He s also rushing to finish because he has keratoconus an eye disease that could eventually make him blind.
McKell is the new girl at school and immediately hangs with the popular kids. Except McKell’s not a fan of the way her friends treat this boy named Squint. He seems nice and really talented. He draws awesome pictures of superheroes. McKell wants to get to know him, but is it worth the risk? What if her friends catch her hanging with the kid who squints all the time?
McKell has a hidden talent of her own but doesn’t share it for fear of being judged. Her terminally ill brother, Danny, challenges McKell to share her love of poetry and songwriting. Flint seems like someone she could trust. Someone who would never laugh at her. Someone who is as good and brave as the superhero in Flint’s comic book named Squint.
Squint is the inspiring story of two new friends dealing with their own challenges, who learn to trust each other, believe in themselves, and begin to truly see what matters most.
This was a quick, but impactful read. I think it is the kind of story more young people need to read and that adults can benefit from as well.
The story made me think about my sight–both literally and figuratively. Reading about someone whose eyes can’t always see clearly made me grateful and reflective of all the little details I can see in people’s expressions and other things around me that gives me a much fuller understanding. Likewise, the main character’s experiences made me think about what I’m failing to ‘see’ symbolically all around me.
It reminded me of Wonder by R.J. Palacio in several ways through the tone, feel, and messages. But it never felt like it was trying to be a copy of that book and there were many differences in the stories as well.
Throughout the story there are frequent excerpts from the superhero comic that the main character is working on. Those didn’t engage me as much, but I think it will be fun for younger readers.
I loved reading about the friendship and character development throughout the story and I felt connected and invested in the story. It’s the kind of book that makes you want to be a little kinder and more observant. I’m really glad I read it!
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