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.
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.
It even covers the idea that bullying may just be teasing, and teasing may be for the sake of a laugh and not out of malicious intent. Flint does a good job of using humor against his former friend whom he believes is picking on him. He finds out that he may not have lived up to his own responsibilities toward the former friend. The thoughts along this line go along well with some of the resilience training I try to incorporate into my classroom, which correlates to the materials from Brooks Gibbs.
This author team also wrote last year's Mark Twain nominee, Mustaches for Maddie, of which I was impressed, but not overly thrilled to read. The ideas behind the plot of Squint were much more original. While the former was more personal for the authors, it just seemed like they struggled to keep the story in pace with their own experiences. The latter, however, flowed quite naturally and had a life of its own. Squint is definitely one of the better books on this year's award list for the state of Missouri, if not the best.