Hudi has always wanted to be a comedian and is a frequent viewer of his favorite show—Saturday Night Live. But life isn’t always a joke. A serious medical issue when he was five left him with only one lung. Now the doctors are urging him to lose weight so his parents push him into sports to increase his level of activity. Not exactly what he wanted to do but an imaginary friend named Chunky is there to be his cheerleader.

First it’s baseball, then soccer, swimming, and tennis. Each one is nothing short of a disaster. Hudi does have some success in football, but his old school Texas coach has vicious methods and would prefer his players take out the other team with a purposeful injury.

Meanwhile, dad loses his job and Chunky keeps encouraging Hudi to pursue his true love— comedy. The story is an autobiographical look into the author’s life transferred into this page turning graphic novel. The only Jewish-Mexican kid in the neighborhood is finally getting to tell his story.

Perfect for graphic novel fans and for those middle graders trying to find their own comfort spot in the world.

BOOK BIRTHDAY: June 22, 2021 PAGE COUNT: 208


  1. A welcome addition to the middle grade level as personal identity is a topic that is often left to the imagination or not covered at all.
  2. Nicely done graphics, especially the two-page spread introducing each of the 7 chapters.
  3. Chunky provides a comical voice of reason. Something a lot of kids could use.
  4. Sports style commentary brought many smiles throughout.
  5. Being true to one self is the flag waving theme and this will be a graphic novel that won’t sit on the shelves for long.


Yehudi Mercado is a former pizza delivery driver and art director for Disney Interactive. He is currently a writer-artist-director living in Los Angeles by way of Austin Texas.

For more visit Yehudi at


I received a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. Comments are welcome below. Also—be sure to visit all the other bloggers on this week’s edition of Marvelous Middle Grade Monday.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to CHUNKY

  1. I love stories about being true to yourself. I don’t read many graphic novels, but this one sounds good.

  2. Completely Full Bookshelf says:

    I will absolutely have to pick up a copy of this after reading your review—I am always searching for new graphic novels! This one sounds like it grapples with some valuable topics in a super-fun way—I love that Hudi’s imaginary companion is a big part of the book! I looked on Amazon, and the illustrations look great as well—the energetic style reminds me a bit of Snapdragon by Kat Leyh. Thanks so much for the great review!

  3. Andrea Mack says:

    Books about learning comedy skills are so interesting, too! This looks like are really fun book with a great theme.

  4. Many readers will benefit from this story — especially since it is loosely based on the author’s life. I love his imaginary friend, Chunky — or perhaps ultra ego? There are many themes that will resonate with readers. And, it does sound like a fun read. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Jenni says:

    This sounds interesting and really funny too! I like how he has an imaginary friend cheering him on. This will be a book that will appeal to many!

  6. With comedy at its core, you can’t go wrong. It isn’t often you find a middle-grade novel with an imaginary friend. That’s kind of interesting. Thanks for the review.

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