Cover Image: Frizzy


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Member Reviews

This was a beautifully well done book, featuring our main character who's hair is too curly for her family and doesn't fit traditional beauty standards. A great story following a character who comes into herself!

Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for providing me with an arc for an honest review!
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“I wanted to be myself. I wanted that to be enough and for everyone to love me. Especially my mom.”

Marlene has always loved her hair, but there’s one problem: no one else seems to. Every Sunday, she and her mom go to the salon, and Marlene gets her hair straightened into “good hair”—except Marlene doesn’t understand why her curls are considered “bad.” Frustrated, she turns to her best friend Camilla and her Tia Ruby for help. Struggling with bullies and hair hijinks, Marlene will have to come face to face with her family’s fears if she truly wants to learn how to appreciate and proudly wear her curly hair.

FRIZZY is such a gosh-darn cute middle grade graphic novel, and I loved every second reading it! It’s a pretty quick read, but brimming with honesty and heart. While Marlene’s journey isn’t easy, writer Claribel Ortega and illustrator Rose Bousamra do a fantastic job portraying her confronting both internal and external prejudice. I absolutely loved Marlene’s voice, and the illustrations vividly brought the story to life. FRIZZY is the perfect window and mirror for readers everywhere, and I would love to read a continuation of Marlene’s story sometime in the future. Make sure you get your hands on a copy of this book ASAP, and I promise your heart will thank you.  

Content Warnings: Bullying, racism, generational trauma

(Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change upon final publication.)
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First of all I want to thank netgalley for providing me with this graphic novel.

This graphic novel tells us the story of Marlene, a girl with curly hair, a feature that the women in her family do not like as they take it as something bad, and to please her mother she must constantly fix her hair, something which makes her suffer a lot, since she wants to be free and taming her hair implies that she still has to be calmer. but she wants to be able to be like her aunt ruby ​​who lets herself go, lets her hair be free.
This whole situation has made his relationship with his mother tense.
I really liked how it portrays the relationship between mother and daughter, the dynamics that exists between the Latin family. I don't know if I came to feel identified but there were certain circumstances that made me say: "something like this happened to me too"
what the protagonist is looking for is that her mother can accept that she is beautiful as she is.

The illustration in the book is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, the details in the protagonist's hair, uff chef's kiss.
I love the novel and the message it seeks to leave, it is something that has happened to one of us, whether it is because of their hair, physical appearance or even sexual orientation, we all want to be accepted and loved. I gave it 5 stars out of 5
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Seriously. There's just HAIR.

Unfortunately, Marlene has been told most of her life that she has "bad hair." This means weekly trips to the salon with her mother to get it straightened. As Marlene begins to embrace her curls, her relationship with her mother suffers and she has to deal with bullies at school. Luckily she has an AMAZING aunt with curls galore--and Marlene is about to get an education in not only haircare...but loving herself, as well.

What I love most about this is that all the women in Marlene's life love her and have good intentions--even those around her trying to "fix" her hair. Marlene's best friend Camila and her Tia Ruby are the kind of people I wish every young girl had in their lives--protective and supportive and confident.

Powerful and emotional (I had to wipe a few tears there at the end) and perfect for middle grade readers.
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Frizzy is such a wonderful and heartwarming story about a young girl dealing with the unfortunate reality of hair expectations that society has put on people of color. While “society” does not exist as the antagonist in a visual way—much of the commentary and behavior comes from family members—the white pushed norm of demonizing hair styles that are more typical for black people as “unprofessional” is touched on in a quick, but immensely impactful way. 

Main character, Marlene, just wants to be her truest self. She has grown to despise the weekly visits to the hair salon that her mother brings her to as a direct result of generational impact that racism in America has had on her family. With determination, resilience, and perseverance Marlene confronts the various struggles those around her place on hair in a beautiful journey that leads her down a path where she can one day proudly sport her natural hair and be true to her personal needs. 

This is a story about growth and how our children can teach us. It’s one about acceptance and love in spite of outside adversity. This is a story that I am certain will mean so much to a great many girls and women out there as they navigate this world of ours. And I am so thrilled this story exists.
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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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