WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.
Peanut by Ayun Halliday and Paul Hoppe
Type: Contemporary, Peanuts, School,
Basic Plot: Sadie is moving and will be going to a new school and to make friends, she decides to tell everyone she is allergic to peanuts. She now must make sure no one finds out, even if that means making life more difficult for others and even for her.
Plot: 3/5 Average: The plot was very, very cliché from the beginning until the ending. It was very predictable and a lot like the average chick flick in a comic form. The most interesting part was Sadie learning about what a person with a peanut allergy must do to stay safe, but otherwise it wasn’t really unique. I do like how it was realistic in some ways, though, despite it being very cliché overall, such as the way the teenagers interact with each other was at times very much like how teenagers interact in real life.
Graphics: 3½/5 Above Average: The graphics were OK. They could have been improved, as they looked like the rough sketch drawings a little. The only color besides the blue ink to draw was a red-orange piece of clothing that Sadie always wore. That caused a few issues as I actually confused Sadie’s mom with her friend because they looked so similar. The graphics were realistic in how the body was shaped, though, and were natural looking. They could have been done fancier though.
Moral: 3½/5 Mostly Good Application: The moral was a good one, despite the fact that there were a lot of other things that were not so good or interesting. The moral was the idea that you shouldn’t lie, because if you do you will have a miserable time during the lie and a humiliating time after you are found out. In the end though she decides not to spend her whole life regretting it or really worry about what will happen, but just worry about right now. Now that was a 90% OK moral, but you should not just worry about now but at what will happen later, because if she had done that earlier she might not have lied. Otherwise it is a very good moral.
Overall: 3/5 Average: The graphic novel was not very unique in any way, though the moral was good. The best thing story wise was the realistic themes in it, but otherwise the plot as a whole was very cliché. The graphics were nice, but I think they had more potential and could have been better than they were done. Overall it was only average.
Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 4/5 Verbally Sexually Inappropriate: The clothes are a little tight, but are more so realistic and natural than revealing or tight. There is a scene when the girls are in a locker room and are in their underclothes. There is a picture of a guy with no shirt on. When a purse is emptied woman’s health products are seen coming out. When a girl is told to see a physician as a joke, the girl asks if she should go for birth control. “Hottie” is used once. Girls are called “hookers” twice by their friend. “Sexy” is used to describe someone once. A teacher thinks about how teenagers have a lot of hormones. A girl tells a friend about how she was alone with a boy and they did something together that was not specifically said, but was probably making out. Menstrual cycles and pms are mentioned. Sadie’s mom said that sed-ed and health class were equivalent when she was in high school. When talking about problems that should be reported, sexual abuse is mentioned, and later some girls talk joke about it. Sexually inappropriate functions that will not be named for decency are mentioned and suggested in speech, but are not being done. A boy and a girl kiss in a non-sexual way. Parts of the body that are slightly inappropriate are mentioned in conversation, though not in an inappropriate way. A girl says a boy saw a girl in a bikini, but it is not shown. Nothing sexual is shown.
Violence: 1/5 A Little Violence: Some girls talk about frogs that were dissected. One of the things the teacher says is reportable is violent behavior. Sadie imagines choking some gossipy girls. Sadie discusses what should be done if someone attacks them with guns or bombs. A nurse jokes that she will punch a teacher. A boy falls off his bicycle.
Swearing and Taking the Lord’s Name in Vain: 5/5 Extremely Bad Language: God’s name is taken in vain thirty-five times, and “gosh” and “jeez” are each used once. A form of “damn” and “hell” are each misused twice. A boy is called an “anus.” The phrase “a-hole” is used once. The term for a female dog is misused once. A form of the “p” word is used twice. The “s” word is used twice. The words “wench” and “sow” are used. A girl sticks out her middle finger at a phone.
Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 0/5 None
Religious Issues: 2/5 Some Small Issues: There is a light trace of Religious People = Bad People. There is a Christian girl briefly mentioned by some of the kids and the impression is mainly what the average person has of a Christian: a bit loony and overenthusiastic about their religion and doesn’t seem to realize everyone has a right to believe what they want, besides that though, an OK person. Also Sadie says that she is not really close God. A boy calls his little brother “Satan’s spawn.”
Magic: 0/5 None
Others: A girl asks Sadie if she is “high” because she thought her question was funny. A boy has a tattoo. A girl goes to an AIDS walk with male friends dressed in female Hawaiian clothes, and mentions how she had wanted them to go in women’s clothes like dresses. Sadie calls her friend’s friends “homophobic.” “Queer” is used in reference to homosexuals. Some girls talk about how some boys are probably homosexuals and joke about them dating. Sadie says at two different times that she thinks different people may be gay. Some girls gossip about a woman that divorced her husband for so that she could be with another woman. Some teenagers talk about using fake IDs to sneak into a nightclub and go drinking. Sadie’s mom says that some medicines are probably not open to public use as teenagers would use them as drugs. One of the things Sadie considers that she could have done besides lie was be with teenagers known to do drugs. One of the medical problems she considered having was being an “alcoholic.” Sadie has a disrespectful manner to her mom sometimes and often treats her mom like a peer.
Overall: This book is not recommended at all. The language is awful. There are sexually inappropriate things said. There are blunt references to drugs and homosexuality. Religious teenagers are looked down on. This book is not recommended moral wise to anyone of any age whatsoever whether you are a Christian or not.