Next month, First Second Books will release Frizzy, a new middle grade graphic novel from writer Claribel A. Ortega and artist Rose Bousamra. The book follows a young Latinx girl torn between her mother, who wants her to straighten her hair, and her own desire to embrace her naturally curly hair. Today The Beat is pleased to present an exclusive look at an excerpt from the graphic novel.
Here’s how First Second describes Frizzy:
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.
Frizzy is the first comics work for New York Times bestselling author Claribel A. Ortega, whose prose novels include Ghost Squad and Witchlings. It’s also the first graphic novel for cartoonist Rose Bousamra, who has another book, Gutless, which they are writing and illustrating themself, coming from First Second in 2025.
Check out the exclusive eleven-page excerpt of Frizzy below. The graphic novel will be available in hardcover and softcover editions on Tuesday, October 18th.