Move over, Wimpy Kid. There’s a new illustrated diary on the block, and Frazzled by Booki Vivat will have you cheering for a lunchtime revolution, cringing in sympathy at Abbie Wu’s antics, and rooting for her to make it through the wild jungle that is Middle School.
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.
Frazzled is the kind of book I could just keep reading, except the pages and the story ended. I can easily see this turning into a series — something beloved and devoured by kids between classes and after school, and shared and swapped and talked about.
Abbie Wu’s struggles are not altogether uncommon, but the way Vivat has portrayed them here — in illustrated diary-like chapters — feels fresh and uniquely approachable in ways other middle grade books aren’t. It’s easy to dive into Abbie’s world, and sympathize or even relate to her anxieties, fears, and hopes.
Vivat’s writing is fresh, witty, and irreverent, and her illustrations really elevate the story, and bring her characters’ emotions to the surface. Frazzled is the kind of book kids will read obsessively; it’s certainly how I read it as an adult. It was a book I both couldn’t put down, and also wanted to slow down and savor.
Frazzled is just a really, really great book – the complete package – and I’m eager to re-read it once I’ve gotten my hands on a finished copy, so I can pour over all the illustrations that didn’t quite make it into the advanced review copy. I know they’re only going to make a great book even better.
Look for Frazzled in stores September 27th.