Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom

illus. by Booki Vivat. 240p. HarperCollins. Sept. 2016. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9780062398796. POP
Gr 3–6—Middle child and soon-to-be middle schooler Abbie Wu is in major need of crisis control. Her fear and anxiety have her constantly freaking out, especially when it comes to sixth grade. Abbie's mom doesn't understand why she's stressed, and her perfect siblings aren't helping the situation, either. Because Abbie couldn't decide on an elective class, she's been assigned to study hall. Her two best friends actually enjoy school and have found activities they're passionate about. Not having a "Thing" like everyone else is making Abbie feel left behind. The only part of school she's looking forward to is the cafeteria lunches, which include pizza, fries, and cookies. When Abbie discovers that sixth graders are forbidden from eating those foods, she organizes an underground lunch exchange. The success of her food rebellion gives Abbie the confidence to find her voice and, ultimately, her "Thing." Abbie's phobias and worries are charmingly depicted in this heavily illustrated hybrid novel. The humorous, doodlelike artwork makes her struggles entertaining and relatable.
VERDICT Share this title with fans of Jeff Kinney's "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series and anyone who will appreciate rooting for a witty underdog.

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