Cover Image: Frizzy


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Member Reviews

This story felt so real to me: the friendship between Marlene and Camila reminds me of so many BFFs I’ve taught, how mean kids like to point out Marlene’s differences is sadly too common in middle school, Marlene’s struggle with her identity versus what our society expects, and Marlene’s struggle to be true with her mom is something most middle schoolers struggle with. But luckily, this book is about self love, and I. Love. Books. About. Self. Love! And Bousamra’s illustrations just brough Ortega’s story to life! I will definitely get this for my students.
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A graphic look at naturally curly hair. This book is needed. Now if I can just remember the parent who was in looking for books promoting natural curls for their little girl because I need to get this in her hands!

For Libraries: Buy this one!
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I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my rating.

MY GOD, I'm getting emotional over this graphic novel! 

The art is beautiful, eloquent writing, and easy to read, I was immersed in the story. I'm going to recommend this book to everyone!!! Such an essential book to teach about self-esteem, respect, open communication with parents and children, society's expectations, and more. 

If you have an hour in front of you, I recommend picking up this book on the 18 of October.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for letting me read an advanced copy of this novel.
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A sweet book that reminds us that things that may seem simple to some (like hair) can hold power and nuance. Relatable and powerful.
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This is a great book on coming of age, belonging, bullying, and family challenges. It talks about diversity and inclusion. It is an easy read and has great illustrations.
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My Thoughts:

Not since Brenna Thummler's graphic novel Sheets has a middle grade GN given me all the feels until this book. Marlene struggles to break out of the "good hair" = beauty routine that finds her at the salon with her mother every week for straightning and taming of her curls and frizz. The not so subtle colorism from Marlene's own family, as well as the bullying from her classmates does not dampen her desire to be proud of her natural hair. Tia Ruby has beautiful natural hair and Marlene remembers that when her father was alive, he loved her mother keeping her hair naturally curly and not straightened so she has to tiptoe around grief, racism and colorism just to feel self love without hurting her mother.

Perhaps that is really what this is about. Frizzy is about love. It is about healing. It is about strength, that in itself is beautiful.

From the Publisher:
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. 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.

Author: Claribel A. Ortega
Illustrator: Rose Bousamra
Publisher:  First Second
Publication date: October 18, 2022
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This isn’t a story that I share. However, this was a great way for me and others to understand the struggles that others go through when it comes to different hair types. When I go to the salon every 3-5 months, it takes 30-45 minutes to wash, cut, dry, and style my hair. It takes 20 minutes each morning after a shower to do my hair. I’ve always wondered how others do their hair. This was a beautiful illustration of the emotions that come with hair acceptance.
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This book was amazing! Marlene was very relatable, having grown up with fluffy, curly hair myself. I remember my mom trying to tame the mess that was my hair. Poor Marlene has to deal with feeling like she is disappointing her family and that who she is is not good enough. Many children share these same feelings but don't know how to handle them. I'm sure some lash out at the bullies around them like Marlene and find they are the only one suffering from consequences after. Marlene finally gets a handle on things after spending time with her cool Tia. She learns that there is no such thing as "good" hair, and that she should wear it the way that makes her happy not the way that makes other people happy. A great story about accepting yourself and being happy who you are.
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(Thank you to Netgally for the approved E-ARC for in exchange for an honest review)
4.5 Stars...
This was such a cute middle grade graphic novel. This really has some wonderful lessons to be learning especially for a younger reader. The themes of self acceptance and self love was beautiful to watch. I know that as a black woman I have always struggled to love my natural hair. I wish that I would have a had a book like this growing up. 

Other than the awful family members and kids at her school this book was so great and absolute perfection. Some part of me just couldn't get over how mean they were to the main character and kept taking me out of the story so that is why it is not a full five stars. That being said I would 100% recommend this book and might even purchase a copy for my younger sister when the book does come out.
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Thank you to NetGalley and First Second Books for the ARC!

What a fantastic read this book was! It was beautifully illustrated and the illustrations really leant to the emotions of the story. It was easy to empathize with Marlene and the struggle she faced when it came to beauty standards, her family and society's expectations, and bullying. But it was SO great to see her embrace herself for who she is and for her family to do the same in the end. As well, I loved the growth of Marlene and her mother's relationship over the course of the book, and I completely adored Marlene's friendship with her best friend, Camilla, and her relationship with her Tia Ruby—it all made the book shine!

Everything was extremely well done that I went through such an array of emotions, and in the end I was left with a huge smile on my face! Overall, it's an excellent read, and I would absolutely recommend!
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Read in one sitting and I was left SOBBING. this is beautifully illustrated graphic novel about a young girl who just wants to be herself without the restricting beaauty standards of other. I loved her best friend and tia who help find ways to do her hair and remind her its beautiful ugh getting my own copy ASAP. Ortega is now an autobuy for me
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After a weekend stay with her badass tia, Marlene learns how to take care of her hair texture with her tia emphasizing it’s a self care ritual solely for Marlene and not to appease society’s expectations. The relationships between women, that of Marlene and her aunt, and of Marlene and her best friend who supports Marlene fiercely are a joy to read. The struggle for Marlene’s mom to unlearn her own trauma with beauty expectations shows how younger generations can cause impactful change. Go young people! Loved this comic so much!
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I loved this book and it's focus on finding satisfaction with one's personal appearance.  I also like that it featured a mother/daughter relationship in which the mother admits that some of the things she'd been trying to teach her daughter weren't necessarily the best way to go about things.  The art was also very nice and had a soft homey feel to it.
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Thanks, NetGalley! Super cute middle grade graphic novel about a young girl torn between pleasing her mother and being herself. This is an important book for those who struggle to balance cultural acceptance with being true to themselves, and it was eye opening for me who has little experience with ultra curly hair, the struggle to learn the manage it, the bullying that may occur, and the societal pressures involved for those who embrace their natural hair. The illustrations were well done and enticing, and the story was great as a mirror for those who have experienced this as well as a window for those who haven’t. Well done.
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I loved everything about this graphic novel!!!

The story is about Marlene who has always had issues with her curly hair.
This isn't only about hair problem, but also about accepting yourself and to show your "true self".

Marlene don't want to be different from other girls, and she has so many pressure from her family - she's also bullied in school - but when her auntie Ruby helps her, Marlene finally find a way to be finally free from this feeling of "oppression".

The art style is amazing, the color palette is delicate. I really love Claribel style.

I was well represented  - talking about curly hair - and sometimes, during the reading, I even remembered when in middle school I really hated my hairs and everything I wanted was straight hairs.

I really recommend Frizzy to everyone!!!

Thank you NetGalley and First Second Books for an eARC of Frizzy in exchange for an honest review.
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Frizzy is about Marlene who has always had issues with her hair. Her mother insists that she go to the beauty salon to get her hair straightened once a week. However, Marlene wants her curls to be natural. With the help of her aunt, she learns how to care for her curls.
This was really sweet and fun. I loved the artwork and the characters.
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Amazing middle grade graphic novel, I loved it.
I really liked seeing how Marlene's thoughts about her hair changed throughout the book.
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A very strong message in a really short graphic novel. Sweet and emotional, loved reading this young girl journey to accept her natural hair, as someone with curly hair I could definitely identify with some situations.
The illustrations on this graphic novel are amazing, so colorful and pleasant
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This was a well-written quick and fun read, with a moral. Touching story about accepting yourself, and learning  new ways to take care of oneself.  Great illustrations, witty humor, and could sympathize with the protagonist even though I am not of the same identity.  This book doesn't have to be just for youth, as I feel many adults would also relate to the storyline.
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An unbelievably tender, forgiving, validating middle-grade graphic novel that walks us through Marlene's struggle to find her balance between culture, assimilation, family ties, and embracing her natural beauty to bolster her confidence and sense-of-self.

The color palette is expertly artful, soft yet strong, encompassing the feel of Home among the pages. The illustrations are inviting you in to witness Paola, the mother, bearing the weight of generational trauma and personal grief. You are folded in to feel Marlene's conflicting feeling of pleasing her Mom with her increasing anxiety around if she is "good enough" or if she is not as worthy as her "perfect" cousin. 

I was hurting with her, for her, for her mom. Cheering her and her best friend Camila on while they discussed the struggles and worries they were facing. Tía Ruby is a rockstar who both supported Marlene's feelings, while encouraging her to embrace herself, and also did not just heap negativity on to the Mom being wrong. She provided background, context, perspective and love right into Marlene who is then able to approach her Mother more fully to begin to heal. ♥
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