Plus Sized Rep!

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After reading an excerpt of How to Heal a Gryphon by Meg Cannistra, I figured it would be the perfect opportunity for me to follow through on my goal of reading more Middle Grade novels. I have to say, this book was one of the best (if not the best) MG novel I’ve ever read!

The story follows Giada, a young girl who feels pressured to follow in her family’s footsteps and become a magical healer, but who secretly wishes to heal animals instead of people. When her brother is taken by evil witches, she will do anything to bring him home again, but her journey is much more difficult than she could have imagined.

By far, my favorite aspect of this novel is that Giada is plus sized and confident. There were many details throughout the book where she showed that she loved her body. For instance, at one point she mentions that she wouldn’t want to lose her soft stomach. It is extremely refreshing to read a book with a girl who is plus sized and who also feels comfortable in her skin.

Similarly, Giada portrays a healthy relationship with food, which is important for young girls to read about. She doesn’t drown her feelings in food, but at the same time, she isn’t afraid to eat bread, or ask for whipped cream on her ice cream. Again, this is so rare to see in a novel, and I can’t help but to imagine all of the girls who will feel empowered through Giada.

Furthermore, as if the body positivity wasn’t enough, this story was absolutely wonderful! I adored Giada’s relationships with her many animal friends, especially Sinistra, her cat familiar. The way Giada found meaning in the many professions of witches was endearing, and her courage to say what she wanted to do with her life was beautiful. I also loved that the author mentions she worked with someone of Italian descent to ensure that she was portraying the culture accurately!

Overall, there were so many great things about this novel! Whether you typically read Middle Grade or not, I highly recommend this book. Especially if you have a young girl in your life who needs an inspiring role model! This book is perfect!