Review by Booklist Review
Chmakova's popular Berrybrook Middle School series continues with this story about Felicity, a talented artist who's determined to finally finish a project. Felicity's sister, Letty, pushes her buttons when she points out that Felicity leaves projects unfinished. Determined to prove her sister wrong, Felicity joins an entrepreneur club to enter a pitch contest and win a hefty prize. She recruits her BFF Tess to be her partner, but Felicity feels an intense pressure to succeed, and Tess is harboring some jealousies about boys--a combination that Felicity worries will put their friendship on the line. For all the apparent cartoonishness, there's a lot of realism here. Chmakova truly excels at depicting middle-grade friendship struggles with nuance and depth: her characters are expressive and multifaceted, friendships have meaningful backstories and context, and long-simmering feelings erupt in believable ways. Body language and facial expressions are clearly communicated in the cute anime-inspired artwork, and her character designs incorporate a realistic and inclusive array of body shapes and sizes, disabilities, and gender presentations--Felicity and her family are Black, the school librarian is nonbinary, and the bookstore owner who gives Felicity the best advice about collaboration uses a wheelchair. While there's a solid message about tolerating conflict, the emotionally grounded story and engaging characters are pitch perfect for middle-grade comics fans, who will eat this right up.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
In this latest addition to the Berrybrook Middle School series, a girl enters a school contest for the wrong reasons--with mixed results. Felicity Teale loves art, writing, and cosplay; she is less keen on school. In contrast to her organized, punctual, science-award--winning younger sister, Letty, Felicity has serious gaming and drawing skills but fails to complete projects. In elementary school, Felicity, who is Black, was close friends with Korean American Joseph Koh, but their middle school relationship has been complicated since super outgoing Felicity tried to pressure Joseph to socialize more. To prove to Letty that she can complete and win something, Felicity enters an entrepreneur club contest with a $1,000 prize. But Joseph also enters, partnering with someone from their gaming group and shutting Felicity out. Obsessed with winning, Felicity nixes her partner Tess' suggestions and rejects Letty's offer of help with the business plan. Although Felicity and Tess come up with a great idea, they fail to complete the submission on time, and Felicity's behavior alienates Joseph and offends Tess. Felicity's humorous, colloquial, first-person narration rings true, from her passion for gaming to her sibling rivalry to her volatile middle school relationships. With its use of emphatic text, exaggerated gestures and facial expressions, a muted color palette, and rapidly changing visual perspectives, the graphic format proves ideal for anime fan Felicity's tale of self-acceptance, friendship, and family. Lively, engaging, perfectly pitched tween drama. (Graphic novel. 9-13) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.