Cover Image: Frizzy


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Member Reviews

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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I absolutely loved this book, the conversation surrounding hair and how curly hair is seen as wild and unbecoming on young girls.
I love the positivity of the book and I love how our MC learnt to embrace that part of her.
It's a must read book for every young girl and even adult.

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I have recently chosen to write my thesis on graphic novels, which has given me the excuse to devour as my graphic novels as I can and I am SO happy I picked this one up. Frizzy was a short, but powerful graphic novel about a young girl struggling with her hair texture. After spending every week at a hair salon getting her hair straightened, she begins to grow frustrated with the routine.

The artwork throughout is stunning. The story was stunning. Everything was stunning. I am always impressed by the growing diversity in middle-grade literature. This book really tugged at my heart and I will definitely add this one to my classroom library.

5/5 Stars

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Marline hates going to the salon, but with "bad hair" it's the only way to make her mom happy. Marline is constantly frustrated at the way she is never allowed to stand up for herself, but she also can't stand being pushed around by family and people at school. Surely there has to be a better way.

This book cleverly points out the ways that racism can be sneaky, leading people to dislike their own racial features. It also gives a beautiful example of how to speak up when something doesn't seem fair. A refreshing reminder that you're not alone and beauty is so much more than other people's opinions.

Thank you to NetGalley and First Second Books for this ARC. All opinions are my own.

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What a lovely book about embracing natural beauty and fighting anti-Blackness for the middle grade audience. I think this one will fly off the shelves at my library; I can't wait until October!

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Marlene hates the salon but loves making her mom happy and proud. Straightening her hair every week feels like torture and limits her ability to have fun and be a kid, but she has been told she has "bad hair" and that she needs to look presentable to be liked. So, she embarks on a journey to try to feel more like herself in her own skin and avoid the salon.

I didn't know I needed this book, but I needed this book. I wish it had been around when I was in middle school. Having grown up in Puerto Rico with curly hair, I am familiar with Marlene's struggles. I saw myself whenever people would comment about her frizz and insist that her hair was ugly because it was not straight. It has taken me years to feel proud of and love my hair. I think this book could have sped up the process, particularly the little curly hair primer towards the last third of the book. This book handled the concept of anti-Blackness extraordinarily well and in an age-appropriate way.

The one thing I genuinely have issues with this book is the lack of accent marks in Spanish names like "Ramón." Whenever I travel to the U.S., the correct spelling of my name is a constant issue. Accent marks are important and change completely how a name is pronounced. They are part of our heritage.

Nevertheless, this little graphic novel is a gem for middle schoolers. Thank you, Claribel Ortega for writing it, and Rose Bousamra for those gorgeous illustrations of curly hair. I am definitely going to buy it when it comes out soon on October 18.

If by a miracle, Claribel Ortega were to read this review, please know that if you wanted to translate it into Spanish, this curly-haired, Puerto Rican, certified translator would be honored to take the job.

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<a href="" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img border="0" alt="Frizzy" src="" /></a><a href="">Frizzy</a> by <a href="">Claribel A. Ortega</a><br/>
My rating: <a href="">5 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
Marlene looks and sounds just like my cousins with curly hair. They were told so often that they had bad hair, and to see it all writ plainly, and the reasons why which we all suspected... it was very moving. For all the kids who spent so many weekends at the salon, with the planchas, with the relaxers, etc...I think FRIZZY will resonate. I loved the secondary storyline with the Super Amigas. I can't wait til this one comes out to give it as a gift to my primas.<br /><br />FRIZZY is the story we needed as pre-teens to help accept ourselves as beautiful just the way we are.
<a href="">View all my reviews</a>

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JAW DROPPING. STUNNING. ELEGANT. WOW. Frizzy is exactly what Hispanic and Latinx kids need to read to appreciate their hair!!

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Having read this author before, I couldn't wait to read this book. Great story to have in a school, great representation and very important to tell.

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Frizzy is a fantastic exploration of hair positivity and celebrating our differences. As someone with curly afro hair, I could relate to Marlene in more ways than one. This is the kind of book I wish I'd have had when I was younger.
Frizzy is an uplifting, fun and powerful graphic novel perfect for everyone of all ages. This Own Voices story encourages young girls to accept themselves as they are. The story really came to life with the beautiful and vibrant illustrations. I cannot wait to recommend this in store!

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This is a delightful, quick read that is attractive to graphic novel lovers right now. It is fun and warm with an element of innocence and joy in Marlene’s life.
Even more so it is accessible and has an important deeper meaning.
The themes of hair politics, whether readers have curly hair or not, are universal and start a dialogue about what things like “presentable” and “good hair” truly mean and how a person’s ethnicity can play a role in people’s perceptions around appearances.
Especially important is the own voices piece of the story as the author was inspired to write this book by her Dominican heritage.
Marlene grows and expresses new thoughts and ideas with the support of her aunt that are essential for all young people: self-acceptance, self-advocacy, & embracing differences.
I will be recommending this book to all of our avid graphic novel readers and especially those who liked Swim Team by Johnnie Christmas, Invisible by Christina Diaz Gonzalez, Miss Quinces by Kat Fajardo, and Anne of West Philly by Ivy Noelle Weir!

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Very cute and body positive. I can really see this helping preteens struggling with hair positivity! The art is also so cute and the style fits the story so well. I loved how the hair was illustrated

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This is such a good book. I like all the lessons it touches on. It really lets us feel with the main character Marlene. When Marlene felt overwhelmed and scared I was feeling suffocated with everything that was going wrong for her.
I love how she has support behind her in her aunt and in her best friend.
I just really loved this book and the art is truly amazing.
Thank you to netgalley and the first second for letting me read this advanced copy.

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This was such a touching, beautiful graphic novel. The illustrations are absolutely stunning, it was a true feast for the eyes, but the message of the story was also just so beautiful. It's about self-acceptance, and I think it is perfect for the target audience of adolescence, when you're in that stage of life where you feel awkward enough in your body as it is, without having to add feeling uncomfortable with your natural hair on top of that. It was incredibly sweet, while at the same time teaching about anti-Blackness and internalised racism, in a way that is very accessible. I think that this will be such an amazing tool to teach young people about these topics, especially if they don't have their own Tia Ruby to help them in real life. It really just shows the impact that physical beauty standards set by adults can have on children, and I just could not recommend this enough.

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