Chad Morris, Shelly Brown,
Squintby: Chad Morris, Shelly Brown,
The hero of my comic book can shoot lasers from his eyes when he squints. But it might not be enough to save the Empress. What he’ll need most of all is a friend named Diamond Girl.
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 an eye disease that could eventually make him blind.
At school, Flint meets McKell. She’s new and doesn’t seem to have trouble making friends. She does have a problem with how some of her new friends treat this boy they call “Squint.” He seems nice and really talented. He also seems like the kind of person who wouldn’t laugh at you. That’s important, because McKell has hidden talents of her own but is worried about what will happen if she shares them.
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.
- From the bestselling authors of Mustaches for Maddie.
- Thirteen-year-old Flint is losing his eyesight due to a cornea disease. He’s not blind yet, but even walking is a challenge because he will bump into things or may experience double vision. He’s caught somewhere between the world of the able and disabled.
- His poor eyesight and the related difficulties make him different, vulnerable, and socially isolated: he loses all of his friends, eats lunch alone, and most of his interactions are with kids who tease him, prank him or taunt him with the nickname Squint.
- Flint is furiously working to complete writing and illustrating a comic book while he can still see. The characters are all based on his real life and are a proxy for his perspective. The super hero of the comic book is his alter-ego, Squint; his real dog is a comic book sidekick dog made of rocks called Rock; the bullies at school are the super villains. Flint’s comic book is woven into the story in italicized sections.
- Only one person in the entire school is friendly to him: the new girl, McKell. At first he’s not sure he can trust her (is she part of a larger prank?), but he eventually shares his comic book with her and she encourages him to work on it and add a female super hero which becomes Diamond Girl, based on McKell herself: funny, pretty and invincible. In the comic Diamond Girl rescues Squint from life-threatening danger; in real life McKell rescues Flint from loneliness.
- Comic book hero Squint is like Spiderman: funny, brave, but with human frailties. Through Squint’s eyes and experiences in the pages of the comic, Flint becomes braver in real life. For example, when his science teacher asks the students to find someone to pair up with for a project, Flint uncharacteristically raises his hand first, inspired by his hero, Squint, and asks to be McKell’s partner.
- McKell has a brother with an extremely rare genetic disorder, progeria, which has symptoms resembling aspects of premature aging and usually leads to death by age twenty. He’s a blogger who writes encouraging messages about happiness, kindness, and living fearlessly. We never meet Danny in the story, but after he passes we see the legacy of his positive attitude and generosity, even after his death, expressed by his gifts of organ donation.
- Flint receives a cornea transplant after McKell’s brother dies and feels empowered, thinking he received it from him.
- With newly improved vision he is disappointed that his comic book art doesn’t actually match what he thought he created. McKell, however, has vision for his artwork and helps him see it in a different light, showing a key theme of the book of how we’re stronger together as friends who support each other and help each other see our true potential.
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Publish Date: 2018
Page Count: 256