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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.
"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." --Publisher's 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