Pizza Face

Scholastic/Graphix. (Four Eyes). Jul. 2024. 224p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781338575040.
Gr 4-8–Just when Rex starts getting used to his status of being labeled four eyes, acne wreaks havoc on his first day of school. To make matters worse, he overhears his friends making fun of him for his delay in puberty. He spirals downwards and pushes his friends away while he continues to suffer at the hands of his bullies. The consistent reminders of the financial burden he is to his family weighs on his relationship with his mom, and Rex hits a low. Readers will root for Rex as he eventually begins to mend relationships and build new ones as he and his peers navigate the uncharted waters of middle school and puberty. In the second installment of the series, Ogle and Valeza explore the preteen landscape in this charming and authentic autobiographical graphic novel. Ogle gracefully weaves themes ranging from generational trauma to the importance of humility into the narrative. Valeza’s vibrant, cartoon-style illustrations expertly match each panel’s tone with colors and sequential pacing. Further, Ogle emphasizes several character dilemmas, presenting a variety of scenarios that will resonate with readers.
VERDICT This must-read graphic novel is the perfect choice for tween readers going through challenging times.

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