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Positively Izzy

Review

Positively Izzy

POSITIVELY IZZY by Terri Libenson is a wonderful graphic novel hybrid. Told from two middle school girls’ point-of-views, the novel explores themes that are relevant to all young kids and is a must-read for middle-schoolers and up.

The book introduces us to Brianna, a brainy girl who is torn between wanting to please her mom and staying within her comfort zone. When her mom begs her to help out with the school's talent show, Brianna agrees, not realizing how terrified she actually is to perform in front of others. Our other character is Izzy, a young girl who can't seem to do well in school no matter how much potential she has. She would rather use her imagination to write plays than focus on what her teachers are saying. In fact, she's so focused on preparing for the skit she wrote for the talent show that she totally bombs an important test! The rest of the book is focused on each girl struggling to realize that it's okay if you can't be who everyone wants you to be or different from who everyone things you are (in Brianna's case, just a brain; in Izzy's case, unfocused and irresponsible).

"I was happily surprised by the wonderful cast of characters....POSITIVELY IZZY is perfect for middle-schoolers because of it's such a transition time for a lot of kids and I think the book really speaks to that."

I was happily surprised by the wonderful cast of characters. Both point of views provide readers with a great group of people, all who I would love to see separate volumes of their own stories. Izzy's friend Emmie already has her own book and I can't wait to read INIVISBLE EMMIE next, though I might recommend reading that one first. Brianna's classmate and later scene partner, Dev, had a great amount of depth for a secondary character and I loved how the relationship between him and Brianna developed.

This book also had a surprising twist at the end that doubled my love for the book and made me want to read it. It was a great way to end an enjoyable and funny read!

POSITIVELY IZZY is perfect for middle-schoolers because of it's such a transition time for a lot of kids and I think the book really speaks to that. There's discussion of divorce, friendships growing apart, relationships and stepping out of your comfort zone. I think the book could be a great way to talk to students about these topics as many pre-teens might relate to the characters. I hope we get more of Izzy and Brianna's story, even if it's from other POVs --- I think fans and readers will be clamoring for it!

Reviewed by Brianna Robinson on June 27, 2018

Positively Izzy
by Terri Libenson