Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom
Written and Illustrated by Booki Vivat
Abbie Wu is having trouble with the Middles. She’s the middle child – with an impossibly cute younger sister and an overachieving older brother. She always gets the middle seat. She is, in some ways, the middle friend. She hears the Middle Ages weren’t so great. And she’s headed to middle school. Her mom assures her she will be fine in the new environment. Meanwhile, she can’t even decide what her Thing is so she can choose an elective. The only good part is her two best friends will be around, at least part of the time. When it turns out the good lunches are only available to the older kids, she accidentally finds her Thing in study hall, only to get in trouble for being so creative. Along the way, though, she learns what her real Thing is and learns that some of the monsters in her life might not be quite so monstrous after all.
The heavily cartoonish illustrations are a major part of the fun and of the story itself. Though this is not a graphic novel, per se, this would be a very different book without the illustrations.
Though this is a hilarious look at the situations all of us face, with change being the norm, there is a lot to get serious about too. Fourth and fifth graders would benefit from having this book available in the classroom so they can discuss with other kids, teachers, and parents what to expect in the coming years.