Living With Viola by Rosena Fung is a graphic novel all about Olivia, a girl with anxiety. This middle grade story is a quick, engaging read. Though it didn’t click with me and my experience with anxiety, I think it has a ton of kid appeal.
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The summary, from Amazon:
Heartbreakingly honest and quietly funny, this #ownvoices graphic novel from a debut creator is a refreshingly real exploration of mental health, cultural differences, and the trials of middle school.
Livy is already having trouble fitting in as the new girl at school—and then there’s Viola. Viola is Livy’s anxiety brought to life, a shadowy twin that only Livy can see or hear. Livy tries to push back against Viola’s relentless judgment, but nothing seems to work until she strikes up new friendships at school. Livy hopes that Viola’s days are numbered. But when tensions arise both at home and at school, Viola rears her head stronger than ever. Only when Livy learns how to ask for help and face her anxiety does she finally figure out living with Viola.
Rosena Fung draws on her own early experiences with anxiety and the pressures of growing up as the child of Chinese immigrant parents to craft a charming, deeply personal story that combines the poignancy of Raina Telgemeier’s Guts with the wacky humor of Lumberjanes. Exuberant, colorful art brings Livy’s rich imaginative world—filled with everything from sentient dumplings to flying unicorns—to life on the page.
Buy Living with Viola here.
Living with Viola by Rosena Fung
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Really captures the experience of anxiety.
Book Club Questions
- Who is Viola?
- If you feel comfortable sharing, do you have anxiety? Is your experience similar to Olivia’s?
- What are some methods Olivia uses to move past her anxiety/overcome Viola?
Interested? Buy Living With Viola.
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