Squish #1: Super Amoeba

A few weeks ago I was in a local bookstore looking for middle grade novels. The salesperson suggested a graphic novel that had “science.” A fictional graphic novel that contains science? Intrigued, she lead me to  Squish #1: Super Amoeba by Jennifer L. Holm and Matt Holm, part of a new graphic novel series. What a “novel” idea for STEM Friday!


The Holm siblings are the authors behind successful Babymouse series. In the book Babymouse: Mad Scientist, they introduce Squish the amoeba as part of a science fair project and then “bud” him off into his own series.

Matt Holm explains in this fun video:

Squish the amoeba encounters the same problems a middle school human would have, like dealing with a friend who mooches his lunch money. There’s even a bully who wants to copy Squish’s science test (Squish is good at science). In a twist, the bully is another amoeba that has a tendency to engulf and eat his friends. Squish wants to be like his comic book hero and save the day, but finds that doing the right thing isn’t always as easy as it seems in books.

Squish appears to be a quick read at first. The humorous elements in the book, like the expressive hat Matt Holm mentions in the video, means that the reader will want to return again and again. Each time there is a little bit more to discover and, dare I say, absorb? If they pay attention, the readers will learn scientific vocabulary and concepts. For some readers, this fun graphic novel series just might spark an interest in learning more about science.

For more details about the science behind the book, visit Growing with Science.


Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Series: Squish (Book 1)
Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (May 10, 2011)

Usually I suggest a fiction to pair with nonfiction, but today I suggest Protozoans, Algae & Other Protists (Kingdom Classifications) by Steve Parker for children who want to find out more about the microorganisms introduced in Squish.

Age Range: 9 and up
Grade Level: 4 and up
Series: Kingdom Classifications
Publisher: Compass Point Books (July 1, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0756542243
ISBN-13: 978-0756542245

The rest of the series:

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Come visit the STEM Friday blog each week to find more great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math books.

2 Replies to “Squish #1: Super Amoeba”

  1. I’d also recommend Summer Camp Science Mysteries. They’re graphic novels, have a loose plot involving mysteries at summer camp, and are heavy on the science. I will admit they are not, literary quality speaking, the equal of Squish, but they are hugely popular at my library with kids who are into science! We really like the combination of science experiments and stories – some other series that do this are Doyle and Fossey (which is like Encyclopedia Brown, only with science) and Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab.

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