Review of Four Eyes, by Rex Ogle and Dave Valeza

Four Eyes

by Rex Ogle & Dave Valeza

Graphix (Scholastic), 2023. 222 pages.
Review written July 31, 2023, from a library book.

I’m always a fan of graphic novel memoirs about middle school – it’s the perfect format for expressing the emotions, the humiliations, the ups, and the downs. And it’s a format the target audience loves, so everything together makes it a great choice.

I’ve read Rex Ogle’s memoirs such as Free Lunch and was bracing for a portrayal of abuse. But this book, has a lighter feel and showed the loving side of his home life. Which I enjoyed seeing. His family helped him get through these middle school difficulties.

What he did have to put up with was needing glasses at the start of middle school and not being able to afford a good pair.

Now, I wore glasses from fourth grade on. I don’t remember ever being bullied or even teased about them. Nor do I remember feeling different because of them. It was strange for me to see a school portrayed where Rex was the only one wearing glasses. Though maybe it felt that way.

So I took that with a grain of salt. However, the part about Rex’s best friend making friends with the cool kids — and those kids at the top of the pecking order finding reasons to reject Rex — that part made sense. And then I could believe that his glasses caused social stigma. Add to that the glasses getting broken and having to use tape to hold them together… and yeah this is the relatable stuff you can expect to find in middle school graphic novel memoirs.

May it, too, help kids know they’re not alone.

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Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but the views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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