Cover Image: Frizzy

Frizzy

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Member Reviews

OUTSTANDING!! This graphic novel encompasses so many journeys and emotion of hair. As Marlene learns to love and embrace her curls, she also learns the hardships of her mother and why going to the hair salon every week was important to her. I absolutely fell in love with Tia Ruby and the important role she played in Marlene's life. This story shows that sometimes it takes someone's consistent guidance and support to break unwanted traditions. Belongs in ALL the classrooms around the world!!
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A timely story of self-acceptance and finding the courage to stand up for yourself. The realistic portrayal of family dynamics makes this book quite approachable and children of many cultures will see themselves reflected in the pages.
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I loved this graphic novel! Very realistic about how hard it is to change your parents mind about an opinion they formed when they were a teen. I love that she had an aunt she could talk to that understands her and how she finally had the nerve to stand up for herself.
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Frizzy is a delightful, thought-provoking graphic novel about natural hair, self-acceptance, and body image. It underscores the value of positive role models who accept –and even love — their physical features. If you love graphic novels, stories about hair and culture, and books featuring strong female protagonists, you’ll enjoy this book.
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Nothing but rave reviews from my daughter about this book.  I loved the premise because I have a head of curly hair.  The illustrations are great.  We love graphic novels at my house!  Pick this up if you have a kid who loves graphic novels as well. Thanks NEtGalley for the ARC.
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Love the illustrations. This story has high impact despite being light on the plot. It was good that the root of these confusing messages Marlene receives about her appearance were explained by her aunt. And that she learned to express herself and stand up for herself in the end. I was a little bummed when I found out the editor brought this story to Ortega and it wasn't her own but the characters are Dominican as is Ortega.
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A middle grade graphic novel about Marlene, a young girl who stops straightening her hair and embraces her natural curls.

Marlene loves three things: books, her cool Tía Ruby and hanging out with her best friend Camila.
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Fantastic graphic novel! My students are fighting over it, excited that there is a character on the cover that looks like them. Claribel A. Ortega is a fantastic writer too!
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What a simple, sweet story about being unique and standing out instead of trying to change to fit in. 

Marlene dreads salon Sundays when she and her mom spend hours getting hair brushed out, straightened, and processed. Her straight her is beautiful, but she doesn't feel like herself and has to live her life avoiding sweating or getting any water on her hair. It also doesn't help that her cousin has straight, perfect hair and happily flaunts it. 

Marlene must find away to stand up for herself, stand up to bullies, and learn how to care for the beautiful "frizzy" hair she has. This is a must read for anyone with hair struggles but also for those who have difficulties with people accepting their differences.
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I loved Frizzy so much! The main character’s journey of self-love and learning about her hair and struggling with how her community views her gut close to home. Many of the things that Marlene was told about curly hair I grew up hearing. I internalized to the point that I wanted to look a certain way just like Marlene does. Frizzy doesn’t shy away from discussing the root of the problem and I absolutely loved that it was unapologetic. There’s also exploration of family dynamics and grief all related to hair. I love a good multigenerational tale and Frizzy had a great one because it shows how these ideas are passed down and perpetuated.

The poignant message is beautifully complimented by stunning illustrations. This has got to be one of my favorite art styles I’ve seen in a graphic novel! The color palette is filled with pastels. Pink and purple were standout colors to me. I was just in awe of the art the whole time and loved the full page spreads. I’m really excited to see more of Bousamra’s work and look forward to their solo debut!
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Obsessed with this book!! What a great window and mirror for all kids, especially those who have a curl pattern. I loved that they called out racism, and I hope that that spread doesn't get this book banned a bunch of places because it needs to be read by everyone.
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Great affirming title for girls who have "frizzy" hair. I loved the mother/daughter conflict and that the main character is able to express herself by the end. Very empowering for young readers!
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a beautifully told and illustrated story! i immediately fell in love with the style and colors of this graphic novel. marlene is a great character and her story touches on not only how hair discrimination and beauty standards affect young girls, but her elders and community, as well. the theme of family was really strong throughout and i think this is a great story for anyone to read.
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Claribel A. Ortega has authored some of the most inventive and fun middle-grade books. Frizzy, is her middle-grade graphic novel debut, about a young girl who’s learning to embrace her natural curls. With lovely artwork by Rose Bousamra and an important message, Frizzy is a sweet and relatable read for all ages.
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Really enjoyed the comic, the art, and the themes of culture, identity, fitting in, and being weighed down under dominant cultural beauty standards.  Really uplifting story and message.
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Adults can be mean.
Kids can be mean.

I love Marlene and her bestie Camilla. I also adore Tia Ruby.

To be bullied or belittled because her hair is frizzy and doesn't fit society's viewpoint. Pfft.

I would die to have more hair. Granted when I had more hair prior to being sick, it was beautiful and thick... seriously, i had great hair and now I barely have any. But I digress.

I always find it funny, those with straight hair perm it and vice versa. People are never satisfied with what they have. However, in this case, Marlene just wants to be her and I am so glad it happens.

Wonderfully told story by @claribelAOrtega and @Rosebousamra and as always, published by one of my fave publishers @firstsecond
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This was a fun graphic novel aimed at upper elementary and lower middle school. It is about a girl who doesn’t feel like herself. Every Sunday her mom drags her to a salon to have her hair straightened. You see her natural hair is as frizzy as frizzy can be, and to some it’s shameful. However frizzy hair isn’t shameful. It’s just not taken care of well. Our main character learns how to take care of her natural hair from her aunt, who constantly bucks the family rules. This book is a great way to talk about lessons and ideas that are passed from generation to generation within a family, as well as talking about how it’s OK to be yourself, and that traditional beauty standards are very white centric and not true beauty standards. The only beauty standard anyone should have are the ones they set for themselves, not ones others set for them. I love the message of this book the ease of the read, as well as the illustrations. Altogether, it’s a fantastic read for any collection, either a library, a classroom or a personal one.
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I loved Frizzy!  This book was equal parts heart wrenching and uplifting in so many ways. It reminds me of 'Wash Day Diaries' but for a younger audience. It embraces family, hair care, being yourself, and overcoming generational trauma all having to do with hair. Such an amazing graphic to share with anyone of any age and helping to spread the word that all hair is "good" hair. Beautiful artwork, and the slow of the entire book is very well done. I will be handing this to all of my patrons!
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Frizzy by Claribel A. Ortega; art by Rose Bousamra
Publication date: October 18, 2022

Date read: November 1, 2022



Marlene loves three things: books, her cool Tía Ruby and hanging out with her best friend Camila. But according to her mother, Paola, the only thing she needs to focus on is school and "growing up." That means straightening her hair every weekend so she could have "presentable", "good hair". But Marlene hates being in the salon and doesn't understand why her curls are not considered pretty by those around her. With a few hiccups, a dash of embarrassment, and the much-needed help of Camila and Tia Ruby—she slowly starts a journey to learn to appreciate and proudly wear her curly hair.

I thought this graphic novel was so cute. Marlene is an amazing character that I think a lot of kids will identify with - not only those with unruly hair, but those with any physical characteristic that they don’t love. And I think that the challenge of trying to find yourself while also trying to fit in to what your family expects of you at a young age will appeal to anyone. 

I really enjoyed the artwork by Rose Bousamra. I feel like hair is one of the hardest physical aspects to draw realistically, and she did a great job of showing the differences between Marlene’s styles. 

I also thought that it was really cool that Tia Ruby basically included a good method for treating Marlene’s type of hair. It fit into the story, but also I could imagine it being really helpful to kids in this situation. (Disclaimer: I am Caucasian and have thick but otherwise easy to manage hair, so I don’t know for a fact that Ruby’s method works, but it sounds legit). 

Overall, this was one of my favorite graphic novels from this year. I think that most middle grade readers will enjoy this one, but I highly recommend it for kids (and adults) with “difficult” hair. The issue is dealt with in such a real but sweet way that will appeal to many young readers. 

Rating: 5/5 stars 

Content warning: death of a parent, bullying 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of this book
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I, admittedly, don’t read a lot of graphic novels but I’m really glad to have read this one. I grew up being made fun of for my hair because it was always frizzy and wild (though I’m so glad that I didn’t have to sit in a salon every weekend). It was as if the state of my hair impacted how others saw me (my uncle’s nickname of “Crazy Horse” for me still sticks to me), much as it did the main characters. I loved how relatable the MC was and how her relationship with her hair and family evolved throughout the story. It was a beautiful visual journey of self-acceptance and self-advocacy. I know so many are proud of their natural hair and some who are on the journey to begin to. I think so many would connect with this story.
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