Cover Image: Frizzy


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Member Reviews

Hi everyone!
Thank you First Second Books and Netgalley for the arc!

This graphic novel is beautiful and heartwarming. 
It follows Marlene and her curly hair forced straight every week by her mother and society. 
This book has character development and family dynamics put in an amazing art style with warm colors.
 A short but emotional story that inspires everyone to love themselves as they are.
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Frizzy is a book that will positively impact girls everywhere. It follows Marlene, a Dominican-American who struggles with her thick, curly hair. She is dragged to the salon to get it straightened, subjected to rude comments about her girls from her family, and is bullied for her natural hair at school. I can't speak to this experience as a white woman, but I think young readers will connect. This story shows just how important hair is, and how looks are so often prioritized in the lives of young women. This gets heavy at points, but is hopeful, and interspersed with lessons on anti-blackness and generational trauma. I love stories about women healing from the suffering that has been past down to them for generations, and this one does it in a way that is at once inspiring, educational and full of heart. This is ultimately a joyful story, and I appreciate that,

I loved the art in this as well! Rose Bousamra makes these characters come alive with their hair. Everything is so bright and vivid, and all of Marlene's emotions feel so big. I loved looking at this, The art and the story came together in a truly lovely way.

This absolutely ruled. I can not wait to get it for our library and for all the young people with similar struggles to read it.  It is at once fun and educational, funny and hopeful.
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This graphic novel was everything that I would have loved as a child and teen. The story follows a girl and how she grows to love her curly hair despite the world trying to influence her that something other than curly and frizzy is beautiful. 5/5 stars and thanks to NetGalley for the early review!
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Thank you to First Second and NetGalley for the advanced electronic review copy of this wonderful book. I really enjoyed this sweet story with a powerful message of staying true to oneself, despite the pressure. Loved the art style and beautiful colors. Very relatable. Looking forward to sharing this book with my upper elementary students.
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Hair is such a hot button topic, especially when "neat" and "professional" are code for white. Marlene grows up thinking that she has "bad hair," and is taken by her mother every Sunday to have it straightened and made "respectable." Marlene dreads this every week and just wants to enjoy her curls. Luckily she finds help from her best friend and her aunt, who give her the courage to have the hard conversation with her mother. There is a lot of great information about the issues surrounding Black hair, explained in a kid friendly way. Highly recommended for grades 3 & up.
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A really warm story about self-acceptance and unlearning harmful beliefs—in this case, about hair. Well-paced and earnest, and only a little bit on-the-nose (in a way that felt appropriate for the intended audience, I think). Lots of themes that middle grade readers will relate to, no matter their hair type. I'll definitely be recommending this one to my realistic fiction graphic novel fans!
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This is a must-read middle-grade graphic novel.

Frizzy follows Marlene's journey to loving her natural, curly hair. Marlene is looking to discover more independence and self-love, but there are a few obstacles in her way that she works toward overcoming. From family traditions and expectations to peer judgement, Marlene's story is emotional, impactful, and brave. 

 I love the support Marlene receives from her Tia and best friend, Camila. I love the bravery Marlene shows to her mother at the end of the story. And I love the power that Marlene's story will share with readers across the age-line.  

Ortega's story writing partnered with Rose Bousamra's illustrations make this graphic novel so powerful and empowering. I felt Marlene's emotions as the story progressed and was cheering her on in her search for self-love and acceptance through her hair.
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Marlene is a beautiful young girl whose definition of beauty is being overrun by societal norms, bullies, and her mother's wishes. Marlene is a spunky middle schooler trying to figure out who she is and why others believe that hair determines who a person is. This fast read contained a powerful lesson on beauty and enough emotion to pull a few happy tears from me. Young readers will enjoy following Marlene as she navigates negative peer relations, a supportive best friend, hair salons, and her culture while discovering her identity. This is a colorful novel with a positive, hopeful message that I wouldn't hesitate to share with my middle schoolers,.
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Everything about this middle grade graphic novel is perfect, from the beautiful illustrations to the heart wrenching plot about accepting yourself, to cultural/family expectations. Fantastic character development, so many readers are going to see themselves in the main character, it will mean everything.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the eARC of this wonderful graphic novel. 

This story was very sweet & touching. It helps teach self acceptance but it also delves a bit deeper into the “why” that self acceptance isn’t always so easy. Some things are so deeply ingrained in us for many generations and it takes much more time and work to move beyond those negatively ingrained things. I thought the illustrations really helped to tell the story of Marlene’s struggle with her self image and embracing her natural hair. I cried at a few points and while I personally cannot relate to Marlene’s struggle myself as a white woman with naturally straight hair, there are of course countless individuals that can and this positive representation will always be so important. 

I look forward to seeing this novel on the shelf at bookstores soon and for young kids to be able to see themselves in this story and adults as well. We are NEVER too old to delve into children’s stories, they very often tackle the most important topics that we can all benefit from reading. I cannot recommend this book enough.
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Affirming and accessible with delightful illustrations. I especially liked the facial expressions on the characters and the hair. Fellow curly girls unite!
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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".
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This was such a wonderful and cute read. I am glad to be able to read something with a diverse character face issues that are  real to those in the BIPOC community. Not only would this read be a great mirror to a young girl like Marlene but a window for any reader who does not face this kind of adversity. The art was so well done, too.
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Marlene has thick curly hair. It is just about time for her cousin’s Quinceañera an another Sunday has come, which means another long day at the beauty salon. Her mother gets her hair shampooed, blow dries, straightened, and curled and then straightened again so that Marlene‘s hair is always “neat”.

The party makes this even more important. However, Marlene has a good time, and before you know it she has sweat all of her hair out and it is all over her head.

Of course that made her Mami angry and another trip to the beauty salon was in order. But, Marlene has her own ideas and showers and brings back her curly locks.

Marlene has angered her mother again and now her mother breeds her hair before she puts her on the bus for school.

Marlene begins to learn a few things. First of all she has to deal with the teasing from kids at school because of the braids in her hair that she hates. This ends up getting her in trouble and then she goes and spend the weekend with her aunt, or her Tia. this proves to be a blessing because her Tia has her hair curly and it is so very beautiful. Her sweet aunt teaches her all about how to maintain her curls and after a beautiful weekend and a good day at school, Marlene now Hass to face her mother.

How does Marlene‘s mother take to the style that Marlene insists on? Well, part of this goes back to why Marlene’s mother has been having had to have their hair straightened for years. There is a societal judgment against good vs. bad here, messy vs. neat hair, etc. and Marlene‘s mother does not want her daughter to suffer any of society‘s issues based on her appearance so she thinks she is doing god by Marlene.

This book teaches the difference between hairstyles, how to maintain them, how to have pride in who you are, how to embrace who you are and teaches a nice lesson between mother and daughter in this beautiful graphic novel by Claribel A. Ortega.

Many thanks to First Second and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
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A great graphic novel where the female teenage lead knows exactly what she wants but struggles going against her mother's wishes and expectations. In this graphic we meet Marlene, a sweet girl who just wants to be herself, hair and all. Every Sunday she goes to get her hair straightened because Mami says that's better, but Marlene hates it and wants, more than anything not to be compared to her perfect cousin, not to conform to expectations from generations earlier, and to just be accepted for who she is. With the help of her supportive Tia and best friend, Marlene finds the courage to be exactly who she wants to be... herself.

This is an empowering novel for any teenager trying to find their voice and themselves.
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Book review :

Frizzy hair entangles everything what if you are born with thick and curly hair and frizz cannot be managed at all. This is a story of dear Marlene who 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".

Does straightening means presentable  ? So many queries emerge when you start reading. I delved into lots of emotions and felt pity for little Marlene who was stuck and helpless at times. She suffered teasing and controlled her wishes just to keep her Mom happy or her hair tangled. But with the help of someone close she learns to sort out the frizz and accept her as she is ..

 "Adults are such weirdos. They say stuff like 'it's what on the inside that counts' but then the one thing they can't stop talking about is looks!"

"Be yourself, honesty is the best policy, and then don't be yourself, be what other people want"

I think it's fitting for its target audience to learn self-acceptance, especially at this crucial stage of adolescence as often, teens compare themselves to what society or their parents say they should be like. I love to see Marlene also getting all the support she could get to help her has an idea of who she is in the eyes of other people. It's just so emotional yet heartwarming.

"We learn things from our parents, who learn things from their parents, who learned that from their parents. It doesn't make those things okay to believe...”
The graphics of the book is very pretty and heart touching. I enjoyed reading this book immensely. I am thankful to @Netgalley and the publisher for giving me this book in return of an honest review.

Happy Reading!
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UGH my heart! This poor girl! There truly is something about looking in the mirror and 1. Seeing someone who doesn't look like you and 2. Seeing yourself in the reflection for the first time.

I'm not too familiar with the ideas presented in this story, but it's not the first time I've encountered them. Silvia Moreno-Garcia's female protagonists often speak of how it's more socially acceptable to have lighter skin, light colored eyes, and straight, fine hair. And her protagonists often are darker, with thicker hair and dark eyes. However, unlike this story, those ideas are not usually the focus of the story.

This graphic novel is a fantastic introduction into how much certain beauty standards can hurt those who don't fit them. I would definitely pair this with Hungry Ghost by Victoria Ying!

I'm loving this trend of body-positive stories! Let's keep them coming!
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Such a beautiful book that celebrates one's uniqueness and individuality! I love the representation and ode to natural hair. There are many important lessons in this middle-grade graphic novel, which also tackles themes such as internalised racism, bullying, beauty standards and conformity.

Half of the characters (including adults) here are awful, but I loved seeing Marlene standing up for herself. I could feel the protagonist's pain and indignation deeply, and wished her bullies faced consequences for their actions instead of just getting away with an apology... I also enjoyed Marlene's journey of self-acceptance. The tips and advice from her Tia will no doubt help readers navigate similar feelings and situations.

The artwork is stunning and I am in love with the colour palette. All of these combined made Frizzy a vibrant and engaging read that I greatly enjoyed.
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Frizzy follows the character. Marlene, a middle school student learning to accept herself as she is. Marlene has very curly hair that gets frizzy. Her mom takes her to the salon every Sunday to get her hair straightened. But, Marlene HATES going to the salon every Sunday and getting her hair done. It hurts, it’s time consuming, and she doesn’t even like how it looks when it is done, but that is what her mom thinks is the only way Marlene’s hair can be styled to be socially acceptable. Marlene tries to learn how to do her hair with her friend, but it backfires and does not go as planned. Eventually, Marlene gets to spend the night with her cool Tia (aunt) and her Tia shows her how to correctly style and do her kind of curly hair. Through learning how to properly style her hair, Marlene gains the confidence needed to tell her mom how she really feels about going to the salon and getting her hair done while also gaining the confidence to truly be herself. This is a WONDERFUL middle grade novel focused on acceptance and self confidence.
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What an incredible story of accepting yourself, challenging beauty standards, and understanding generational prejudices. Marlene’s Dominican roots have given her curly hair, but also the belief that her curly hair is bad. She spends every Sunday at the hair salon getting her hair straightened because her mother believes that straight hair is more presentable. She begins to challenge her mother, with the help of her best friend and her favorite aunt, who teaches her how to care for her curls. 
This is an important book that will build empathy and hopefully give readers the courage to accept themselves, even when the mixed messages they receive are coming from their own families. I loved the resolution with her mom, the many types of bodies depicted, and the diversity of skin tones even within families.
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