Marlene just wants to be herself, with her curly hair and all. But she is constantly told to straighten her hair and change her appearance to look more acceptable. She must navigate bullying, grief, racism, family conflict, and societal pressures while fighting to be herself. This award-winning novel explores well-developed themes of self-acceptance and self-image, highlighting Marlene’s internal and external struggles as she grapples to stay true to herself while feeling pressured to conform. In an intermediate or junior secondary classroom, this colourful and engaging graphic novel lends itself well to an exploration of themes of self-acceptance, families, and diversity, and it may offer a unique opportunity to springboard into a unit about cultural diversity in North America.