By Kaya, Age 11

A book that makes me feel seen is Frizzy by Claribel A. Ortega. The story follows Marlene’s journey to appreciate and style her kinky, curly hair. Reading this book made me feel seen, because I am a bi-racial girl with curly hair. Growing up, I never knew how to care for my curls, so I always kept my hair pulled back in a braid. So I completely understood what Marlene was going through due to our similar backgrounds and experiences. People often told me I didn’t look “presentable” at school because my hair was big and frizzy. Everyone wanted to touch and play with my hair, and I felt like a pony at a petting zoo. In Frizzy, Marlene’s Tia Ruby explains what products work for Marlene’s hair to stay moisturized and introduces her to a tangle teezer. Like Tia Ruby, my older sister, Symera, taught me how to control and appreciate my curls. At the end of the book, Marlen wears her hair down with pride. And like Marlene, I have grown to love my hair no matter what anyone says, and having kinky, curly hair is a part of my identity.

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