Purchase to Support Our Program

Pura Belpre Children’s Author Award winner 2023

October 2022 Indie Bestseller

“An exquisite excavation of hair politics, family dynamics, and self-love.”
Kirkus ReviewsStarred Review 


Written by Claribel A. Ortega
Illustrated by Rose Bousamra
Published by First Second

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.

Look for the Spanish version, Rizos (Frizzy).

Primary ISBN: 9781250259622
Available As: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook
Graphic Novel, Middle Grade, Age 08 or older

Community Represented:

Themes: , , , , , , , , ,

Setting: United States

Character's Place in the Immigration Journey: 2nd Generation

Book Creator(s) Connection to the Community Represented: Own Voices/Lived Experience

Click here for details about how we define our titles.

Engagement Projects & Resources:

Share your favorite resources for this book with info@imyourneighborbooks.org.