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Cover image for Peanut


1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Schwartz & Wade Books, ©2013.
Physical Description:
206 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
General Note:
Title represented by an image of a peanut. Title statement taken from spine.
Nervous about starting her sophomore year at a new high school, Sadie decides to make herself more interesting by claiming to be allergic to peanuts, but her lie quickly spirals out of control.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader 3.1.

Reading Counts! 4.5.

Accelerated Reader AR MG+ 3.1 1.0 156000.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 4.5 6 Quiz: 59832.
Added Author:


Call Number

On Order



"Before you write me off as a delusional psycho, think about what it's like to be thrown into a situation where everyone knows everyone . . . and no one knows you." Sadie has the perfect plan to snag some friends when she transfers to Plainfield High--pretend to have a peanut allergy. But what happens when you have to hand in that student health form your unsuspecting mom was supposed to fill out? And what if your new friends want to come over and your mom serves them snacks? (Peanut butter sandwich, anyone?) And then there's the bake sale, when your teacher thinks you ate a brownie with peanuts. Graphic coming-of-age novels have huge cross-over potential, and Peanut is sure to appeal to adults and teens alike.

Author Notes

AYUN HALLIDAY is the author of the picture book, Always Lots of Heinies at the Zoo, and four memoirs, notably No Touch Monkey!: And Other Travel Lessons Learned Too Late. She writes and illustrates the East Village Inky, a parenting zine. She lives with her husband, Greg Kotis, the creator of the Tony-winning musical Urinetown, and two children. 

PAUL HOPPE is the author and illustrator of two picture books, Hat and The Woods. He also illustrated Metal Man by Aaron Reynolds. He is the co-founder of the comic anthology, Rabid Rabbit.

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-Worried about transferring to a new school, Sadie comes up with the idea of faking a peanut allergy. She thinks that pretending to have a life-threatening condition will draw attention to her and generate sympathy. Her predictions come true, and she makes several new friends and even attracts a boyfriend. But as time passes, Sadie finds it harder and harder to keep up with her lies, and her story begins to unravel. The girl who became best known for having a peanut allergy is heading toward a future in which she will become best known for being a liar, and she will have to deal with the backlash from people who knew her under false pretenses. Sadie is an empathetic character, and readers will relate to her nervousness about fitting in, her emotional tug-of-war with her mother, and the ups and downs of her friendships. Hoppe's cartoon illustrations are primarily in grayscale but he also uses one color (red) to highlight Sadie's character or objects like a flower from her boyfriend. Librarians, teachers, and parents should definitely share this book with teens looking for realistic graphic novels about schools, friendship, peer pressure, or moral choices.--Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Inventing a deadly peanut allergy isn't the first thing the average teenager would think of to make herself more interesting, but Halliday (Always Lots of Heinies at the Zoo) takes the idea and runs with it. The moment that sophomore Sadie Wildhack puts her scheme into action, tension starts to build. Chatter from new classmates ("I'm like 'Oh my God, stop acting like you've got cancer!' ") makes it clear Sadie will find little sympathy. Commentary from homeroom teacher Mr. Larch provides just the right ironic counterpoint: "Ladies, please! This is algebra, not some tatty Guy de Maupassant story." The story's arc is a long, slow fall into public embarrassment; only the attention of Chris "Zoo" Suzuki, a Luddite who hand-delivers his love notes because he doesn't have a cellphone, saves Sadie from complete social failure. In loose gray cartoons accented with coral, Hoppe (Hat) provides maximum visual information without drawing attention to himself, nailing sequences like one in which Sadie imagines confessing, but struggles to find the words. It's not easy being both hip and life- affirming, but this team has the secret formula. Ages 11-14. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Jan.)? (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

In this introspective graphic novel, Sadie is apprehensive about changing high schools during her sophomore year. She breaks the ice with her classmates by casually dropping hints about her severe peanut allergy. Soon Sadie's courage in the face of her serious medical condition and her dramatic tales of near-miss incidents attract new friends and a love interest. There's just one problem: Sadie isn't really allergic to peanuts. Inspired by a friend's suggestion that a new school provides "a do-over" and even the possibility of popularity, she has seized the opportunity to reinvent herself. Sadie orders a medical ID bracelet and researches epinephrine injectors to lend credence to her lies even as she agonizes over whether to 'fess up. This secret, shared only with readers, places Sadie in a series of increasingly awkward situations, from cringe-worthy (the bronze-plated peanut on a chain with which new beau Zoo proudly presents her) to utterly humiliating (a school bake sale "emergency" where the truth is revealed). Underneath the many funny moments runs a poignant current as readers recognize -- better than Sadie herself -- the high costs of her dishonesty. Pen-and-ink drawings, digitally colored in blue tones with Sadie always in red, capture nuances of a wide range of emotions: anxiety, self-satisfaction, guilt, betrayal, and ultimately, forgiveness. katie bircher (c) Copyright 2013. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

A faked allergy spins wildly out of control in this prosaic graphic novel. Starting at a new school, sophomore Sadie Wildhack is led by first-day jitters to concoct one whopper of a lie: She informs her classmates that she is gravely allergic to peanuts. Her feigned condition serves as the perfect segue into new conversations, and it eventually helps Sadie find friends and even a handsome boyfriend named Zoo. As most lies do, Sadie's catches up with her, and predictably, she is forced to confess to her prolonged pretense. While the theme of the story is universal (lying is bad!), here it is sadly pedestrian in its execution, verging on didactic. The notion of faking a peanut allergy feels juvenile, something better suited to a middle schooler than a high school student. Despite this, Hoppe's artistic style helps add some interest. Sadie's feelings of unease are visually palpable, evinced through her always-red shirt (and many wardrobe changes) set adrift against a backdrop of blacks, whites and grays. With its odd subject, this at times feels like an after school special, trying to show how relevant and edgy it could be, and is reminiscent of the failed Minx line from DC Comics. If readers can suspend some disbelief and simply roll with what's offered, perhaps this will work for them. (Graphic fiction. 12 up)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Almost everyone has dreamed of starting fresh at a new school: meeting the right people, standing out, becoming popular. Sadie, however, has moved eight times since she was born and is tired of being the new kid. In an effort to shortcut the distance between being new and being noticed, she lies about having a severe peanut allergy, figuring the invisibility of the problem combined with the snazzy medical alert bracelet will be her ticket to being special. But as her classmates, teachers, and the school nurse get involved in monitoring her allergy, it becomes increasingly difficult for Sadie to keep her lie from exploding and leaving her new social life in ruins. Although the plot is standard, the information on this type of allergy adds to the interest and helps advance the story. Hoppe's blue-and-white artwork is simple yet expressive, and the addition of the color pink helps keep Sadie as the focal point of the story. Although the story is set in high school, younger teens will find a lot to like in this slice-of-life story.--Volin, Eva Copyright 2010 Booklist