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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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
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.
What a wonderful read! It had such good messages throughout, even for those without frizzy hair or Dominican families. Got me right in the feels at the end. I loved how it showed that middle school kids can be mean to each other about looks, but so can adults, and that it took the time to explain why - on so many levels (racism, history, personal feelings, etc.) But most importantly it showed that feeling like yourself should always take precedent, and talking about your issues with multiple people is a good idea, and even parents can change.
The characters and everything about Frizzy by Claribel A. Ortega captured my attention from beginning to end!
This book is adorable! I honestly wish this book was available when I was around this age. As someone who is a reader and found the Curly Girl Method late in life, this would have been a relatable inspiration! I wish there was more information about the process, that way it can also be a resource guide in addition to being a relatable story, but that doesn't take away from the story at all. It just would have brought it above and beyond in my opinion. What if a reader as a similar situation to the main character but doesn't have someone they can go to for help or learning about their hair? This could have filled in those gaps or at least put them on the path to information. But overall, great story. Well done! Highly recommend.
From a technical stand point, I love the color palette and illustration style in Frizzy so much. It feels whimsical, detailed, and realistic all at once. And each panel feels like it holds hidden secrets. Bousamra did a fantastic job with the illustrations! Frizzy is about hair expectations and judgements. It breaks down what hair means to us, what it reflects about our appearance, and how we, as a culture, view it.
Are you interested in: seeing how the ‘good hair’ conversation plagues numerous generations?
A cute graphic novel that keeps its primary audience - children - at its focus?
Graphic novels remain a great way to get young readers interested in reading and the authors of this work knocked the immersiveness of this tale out of the park. This is definitely a read I’ll send to my niece.
THIS BOOK!! What an amazing read and the message is so beautiful. Whether you have curly hair or not I think most of us can relate to this book. Marlene is dealing with all of those tough middle school/high school things like accepting who you are (even if you're a little different). The illustrations are also stunning! Would definitely recommend any school library to have in its collection.
Marlene gets drug to the salon every single Sunday to get her naturally curly and frizzy hair straightened. She absolutely hates it, she hates how much it hurts, and she hates how she has to restrict her activity during the rest of the week to make sure it stays straight. After one particularly rough week, Marlene has had enough. She just wants to let her hair do what it does. But her mom tells her they have to straighten their hair to be taken seriously or professionally. Is her mom right?
This is a graphic novel that will make readers feel. Not everyone will have baggage that goes back generations to deal with in their self-acceptance, but it is pretty safe to say that everyone has something about their appearance they find hard to love. (Hair is usually a big one.) Marlene and her mom learn some beautiful lessons together. Marlene’s Tia Ruby rocks. And the art style is attractive and transports readers into Marlene’s world. Highly recommended
Notes on content [based on the ARC]: No swearing but there’s some name calling and bullying comments and actions. Marlene’s father died years ago and it is realistically still impacting her and her mom. Marlene’s extended family has made external beauty something they unhealthily put a lot of stock in.
I received an ARC of this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Love the illustrations and this graphic novel! This is a graphic novel that deserves to be in every elementary and middle school library.
A really enjoyable graphic novel, loved the story and the designs are amazing! Highly recommend to any graphic novel fan!
Marlene loves her hair and embraces her natural beauty- and it is time the world caught up. This book is an entertaining. touching, and insightful exploration of the ways in which appearances are policed in order to maintain the status quo-- made accessible to young readers through a sweet and tender story about self-love and living one's truth!
I couldn't put it down! I loved this story so much. I saw myself in Marlene and her struggle to be like her relatives and have the "good hair" and feel accepted and beautiful. Feel enough. I feel in love with this story. It's a must read for all ages!
weekly visits to the hair salon, hours there, like clockwork
hair stylist makes rude comments about her hair compared to her mothers hair
family at hair salon getting ready for a quincenera
she imagines herself as a superhero who use their 'unruly' hair to fight crime
'I wondered if being beautiful was the only thing that mattered'
Mother puts pressure on her to want to be like other people "be more ladylike", best aunt tells her she is beautiful just how she is.