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The Isobel Journal
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This quirky, narrative scrapbook gives readers a witty, honest look at what it means to be a teenager. Using mini-graphic novels, photos, sketches, and captions, The Isobel Journal offers a unique glimpse into the creative life of eighteen-year-old Isobel, just a northern girl from where nothing really happens.

ISBN 978-1-63079-003-5
Age Level 14+ Years
Genre Social Issues/Adolescence
Subject Love & Romance
Trim Size 6 1/4 x 8 1/4
Page Count 208
Language English
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“If you love the grungy and odd, vintage clothes, championing music no one else has heard of, rhapsodizing about tea, and ironically listening to ‘90s girl bands, meet your new best friend.”
—Horn Book Magazine

“Give this one to teen readers just getting into autobiographical comics or girls who love to journal.”

“A fascinating, sweetly funny, and relatively unscary introduction to teenage life.”
—Publishers Weekly

“This creative mixed-media work by a UK teen will be devoured quickly — and will inspire readers to create their own illustrated notebooks.”
—School Library Journal

“When I return to school in September, I plan on ripping out pages of THE ISOBEL JOURNAL and taping them to my friends' lockers.”

“It felt like stepping into the mind of a teenage girl and being privy to her random stream of consciousness. The book covers everything from otters to love and family, and does so in a genuine and charming way. That the author is herself a teenage girl just adds a dash more realism to the blurbs and bits pictured within.”

“I found this journal-book and the illustrations sweet, intimate, insightful, fun and funny.”
—Artist Julia Noyes, curator of the Noyes Art Gallery

“This book is head and eye and mind bliss. I want to print every page onto a t-shirt and wear one every day to show them off to the world.”
—Laura Dockrill, author of Darcy Burdock and Mistakes in the Background

“Glimpses of the life of the titular Isobel, who sees herself as ‘just a girl from where nothing really happens,’ presented as a charmingly idiosyncratic scrapbook.

Divided into three sections — Me; Friends, Otters, College & Art; and Love — the journal is immediately immersive, placing readers directly into Isobel’s world. It assumes those readers are sympathetically thumbing through its pages, nodding and saying, ‘oh, me, too!’ The narrative is very loosely structured around Harrop’s life-as-inner-monologue, filled with references to Beyoncé, friends, British pop stars, thrift shopping and tea. Readers meet family members (but only as a point of reference), and though Harrop sketches her friends, imbuing each miniportrait with real personality and a rather Sendak-ian verve, they don’t play roles in any anecdotes or stories. Indeed, the entire concept of story is beside the point here, as Harrop’s work reads like a Tumblr re-organized by hashtag rather than by date. Although most illustrations are by hand and Harrop includes pages scanned in from her actual diary, the overall conceit is of an online commonplace book brought into print. Some readers may wonder about the point of such an exercise. These readers are not the intended audience, who will see themselves, their interests and their remix approach to life reflected in the many pages of impossibly cute animal drawings and Lauren Child-like collages of sketches and photographs.

A trifle — but a sustaining one.”
—Kirkus Reviews
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