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Frizzy - by Claribel A Ortega

Frizzy - by Claribel A Ortega - image 1 of 1
Frizzy - by Claribel A Ortega - image 1 of 1
$13.29When purchased online

About this item


Dimensions (Overall): 8.4 Inches (H) x 5.9 Inches (W) x .8 Inches (D)
Weight: 1.05 Pounds
Suggested Age: 8-12 Years
Sub-Genre: Comics & Graphic Novels
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Number of Pages: 224
Publisher: First Second
Theme: General
Format: Hardcover
Author: Claribel A Ortega
Language: English
Street Date: October 18, 2022
TCIN: 84808166
UPC: 9781250259622
Item Number (DPCI): 247-30-6861
Origin: Made in the USA or Imported


About the Book

"Marlene loves three things: books, her cool tâia 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 tâia Ruby, she slowly starts a journey to learn to appreciate and proudly wear her curly hair"--Back cover.

Book Synopsis

Winner of the 2023 Pura Belpré Award for Children's Text
Winner of the 2023 Eisner for Best Publication for Kids
October 2022 Indie Bestseller

New York Times-bestselling author Claribel A. Ortega and star debut artist Rose Bousamra's Frizzy is about Marlene, a young Dominican girl whose greatest enemy is the hair salon! Through her struggles and triumphs, this heartwarming and gorgeous middle-grade graphic novel shows the radical power of accepting yourself as you are, frizzy curls and all.

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.

Review Quotes

A Junior Library Guild selection

"Marlene's journey of personal growth will evoke catharsis and joy. An exquisite excavation of hair politics, family dynamics, and self-love."--Kirkus, starred review

"Ortega's narrative shows the complex arc of Marlene's emotional growth--from exuberance to sadness, self-reflection to empowerment--captured with aplomb in Bousamra's expressive illustrations." --Horn Book, starred review

"Bousamra skillfully renders expressive and visually distinct characters, employing bright and cheerful coloring in pastel hues to sweetly capture touching moments. Ortega expertly examines themes of colorism, generational trauma, and toxic beauty standards via authentic, heartstring-tugging dialogue and Marlene's pitch-perfect narration, culminating in a satisfying and heartwarming exploration of self-expression and self-love." --Publishers Weekly, starred review

"In the creators' graphic novel debut, themes of anti-Blackness, colorism, and self-acceptance are explored with -nuance and honesty. The subject of internalized racism is discussed in a way that will resonate with kids and families grappling with it for the first time." --School Library Journal, starred review

"Frizzy is an intimate mother-daughter drama that sensitively explores the concept of so-called 'good hair, ' a manifestation of racist beauty standards, as well as how such internalized anti-Blackness gets passed down through generations. Eager to value her unique identity, Marlene eventually learns how to advocate for herself, and her journey to proud self-acceptance is nothing short of joyful." --BookPage, starred review

"Frizzy touches upon the impact that hurtful beauty standards can have on children and how they can be perpetuated across generations, and an educational conversation on the connection between these beauty standards and anti-Blackness is neatly woven into the story." --Booklist

"A wonderful tale about what it truly means to have good hair . . . and a good heart." --Varian Johnson, award-winning author of Twins

"I desperately wish I'd had a book like this when I was growing up. Frizzy is uplifting, affirming, and healing to all kids who love their curls. Curly hair power!" --Zoraida Córdova, award-winning author of Valentina Salazar Is Not a Monster Hunter

"Through warm, encouraging collaboration, creators Ortega and Bousamra underscore and celebrate the joys of being "beautiful in your own way." --Shelf Awareness

About the Author

Claribel A. Ortega is a former reporter who writes middle-grade and young adult books inspired by her Dominican heritage. When she's not busy turning her obsession with eighties pop culture, magic, and video games into books, she's co-hosting her podcast Bad Author Book Club and helping authors navigate publishing with her consulting business GIFGRRL. Claribel has been featured on Buzzfeed, Good Morning America and Deadline. Her books include Ghost Squad and Witchlings, and Frizzy.

Rose Bousamra is a freelance illustrator and comic creator born and based in Michigan. Frizzy is their first graphic novel, and their solo debut graphic novel Gutless is also published by First Second. When they're not making or reading comics they love baking sweets and playing fantasy video games.

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Shipping details

Estimated ship dimensions: 0.8 inches length x 5.9 inches width x 8.4 inches height
Estimated ship weight: 1.05 pounds
We regret that this item cannot be shipped to PO Boxes.

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4.8 out of 5 stars with 8 reviews
100% would recommend
5 recommendations

My daughter loved this book!

5 out of 5 stars
Would recommend
StephNav - 6 months ago, Verified purchaser
My 11 year old daughter's friend recommended this book to her and I was happy to find it here. She loves it and is not a child who loves to read.
Did you find this review helpful?

Beautiful story and art

5 out of 5 stars
Would recommend
BookFreakOut - 9 months ago
You can easily read Frizzy in a day, but you'll be thinking about it for longer than that. This fun, heartfelt graphic novel captures the spirit of a Black middle school girl trying to come to terms with social and familial expectations, which are embodied in her struggles with her hair. Marlene's "bad hair" is what we see in frequent articles about dress code controversies - it's naturally big, curly, and frizzy. The struggle between her inner vision of what she could look like versus the painful weekly trips to the salon to have it straightened are mixed in with school bullies and a mean cousin, creating scenes where you feel her powerlessness in your gut, and the unfairness of the longstanding family dynamics. I especially liked how Marlene points out the contrast in adults saying "be yourself" and "beauty is on the inside" while simultaneously making a huge deal about her appearance and asking her to tone herself down for the world.
3 guests found this review helpful. Did you?

great middle-grade graphic novel

4 out of 5 stars
Would recommend
bostieslovebooks - 9 months ago
In FRIZZY, a middle-grade level graphic novel, Marlene struggles with the conflict between her family’s expectations of what makes her “presentable” and her desire to wear her hair as its natural curls. She hates going to the salon to have her hair straightened. Will Marlene figure out how to feel comfortable being herself and be able to convey this to her family? FRIZZY is a fantastic graphic novel with an overall positive message. Despite being simplistic in nature due to the middle-grade audience level, the writing conveys what needs to be said in an effective manner and can appeal to a larger audience. The graphics are wonderful and really pull the book together. Graphic novels aren’t usually my preference, but this one was really great. It’s hard to read this book and not feel empathy for Marlene. I’d recommend FRIZZY to anyone looking for a middle-grade graphic novel with a meaningful message.
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Fantastic important graphic novel

5 out of 5 stars
Would recommend
lurkykitty - 9 months ago
Frizzy follows Marlene, a middle schooler of Dominican heritage who has curly hair from the Black side of her family. Every week, her mother hauls her to the salon to have her hair straightened so that she can have "good hair" and "look presentable". She loathes the salon visits and feels that she can't look like herself. Marlene is tormented by her family over her hair and compared to relatives who have "good", straight hair. The kids at school bully her about her frizzy hair. With the help of her friend Camilla and her Tia Ruby, Marlene learns to care for her hair and to tell her mother how much she hates the salon and being made to feel ugly and unacceptable. The reason for the value Marlene's family places on straight hair is explained by Tia Ruby as the internalization of society's anti-Blackness. It is so important that we all understand from an early age how racism has affected beauty standards. I loved reading about Marlene's brave journey to self-acceptance and self-advocacy, Tia Ruby's wisdom, and their big, complicated family. The illustrations convey Marlene's struggle so perfectly. Frizzy is about hair, but so much more than hair. It's a fantastic book.
1 guest found this review helpful. Did you?

Fantastically Frizzy

5 out of 5 stars
ReadwithCassey - 10 months ago
It's easy to love this book! Frizzy is an easy, quick middle grade graphic novel about dealing with familial expectations, finding yourself, and learning about the importance of hair. The illustrations of this graphic novel are so good! I loved everything about it. Marlene is a wonderful character, a great friend, and definitely so relatable. I love the journey of self discovery and acceptance that Marlene goes on and it's written in a way that young readers can relate to and understand. Every week she is shuttled to the hair salon so that her wild hair might be tamed and straightened. This act every week proves to Marlene that there is such a thing as "bad" or "good" hair. There are some deep conversations and thinking about racism, even throughout the black community as well - what's considered professional or appropriate based on hair. I love that Marlene learns to take care of her hair, but mostly that she stays so true to herself and has hard conversations with her mom and family.
1 guest found this review helpful. Did you?


4 out of 5 stars
Would recommend
zombiejones - 10 months ago
Nice story about a girl and her hair but one page was so aburt ! I don't think it was necessary to add
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