Frazzled

Frazzled by Booki Vivat

Meet Abbie Wu! She’s about to start middle school and she’s totally in crisis.

Abbie Wu is in crisis—and not just because she’s stuck in a family that doesn’t quite get her or because the lunch ladies at school are totally corrupt or because everyone seems to have a “Thing” except her. Abbie Wu is in crisis always.

Heavily illustrated and embarrassingly honest, Frazzled dives right into the mind of this hilariously neurotic middle school girl as she tries to figure out who she is, where she belongs, and how to survive the everyday disasters of growing up. With Abbie’s flair for the dramatic and natural tendency to freak out, middle school has never seemed so nerve-racking!

Packed with hilarious black-and-white illustrations and doodles throughout, Frazzled takes readers through Abbie Wu’s hysterical middle school adventures.

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My sophomore year of college, I took a non-fiction writing workshop and Booki was a tutor for the class (basically a small group leader). When I saw that she had accomplished every creative writing student’s dream of publishing a book, I had to get it!

I haven’t read a middle-grade novel in a long time, so I don’t really have a frame of reference for Frazzled. But I thought the book was great! It took me back to being in middle school. I hope I wasn’t as neurotic as Abbie is…but I probably was! It was middle school after all.

The story was cute, Abbie’s issues real and convincing, and the illustrations were so, so good. But I think my favorite thing about this book had little to do with what actually happened in the book, but what the book was.

Abbie is not only a female protagonist, but she’s an Asian-American protagonist. Abbie also has a non-traditional family structure. Abbie’s Dad is never mentioned in the book. Whether that issue will be touched upon in a later book remains to be seen, but Abbie is being raised by her strong and tough Mom in the meantime. I love that Abbie is a character that kids can really relate to, whether because she’s a girl, she’s Asian-American, or she has a family that’s different from what a family is traditionally conceived to be.

I can’t find a reference to it online, but I believe I read that Frazzled is part of a 3-book deal. Regardless, I’m looking forward to reading more of Abbie Wu’s adventures!

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