Shiny Misfits

Scholastic/Graphix. Apr. 2024. 256p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781338752519.
Gr 5-8–Bay Ann, an Arab American girl who has cerebral palsy, is determined to become a famous dancer by winning her school’s Halloween Idol show—and she does! Yet, her fame is cut short when classmate and crush Alyee Maq inappropriately kisses her on stage, causing her to fall into his arms. It’s now Alyee Maq who goes viral for not only rescuing the girl with cerebral palsy but also for giving her a fairytale kiss moment. Bay Ann will do whatever it takes to beat Alyee Maq’s viral fame so that she won’t be used as a form of internet disability inspiration. Bay Ann’s obsession with going viral causes her to make mistakes along the way, most notably ignoring the feelings of her friends and family, and not working collaboratively with others to solve problems. She is also unapologetic about “playing the disability” card with the adults in her life, most of whom fall for it because they don’t see her as anything more than her condition. Her relationships with her supportive father and distant mother are complex, but despite conflict, neither of her parents let her lower her expectations for herself.
VERDICT A humorous middle school graphic novel featuring a strong-willed protagonist who won’t stand for anyone to define her solely by her disability.

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