Rating: Cannot Recommend
Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Isobel Harrop
Publisher: Switch Press
This book is a peak inside the journal or scrapbook of a teenage girl named Isobel who’s going through a lot. She has a broken family, is going through puberty, and is battling depression. To cope, she lives in her own little world. Isobel draws people she knows, people she looks up to, and animals she loves, including sea otters. She loves bands and references some of her favorite song lyrics. She goes through a break up at the end of the book and just wants to stay in bed. The final message is that you should surround yourself with good people, and you can make it through hard times.
The illustrations are a mix of photographs, pencil sketches, and random doodles. Isobel makes many statements that teenagers would definitely relate to, like when Isobel explains her frustration with watching adults use the internet. The Isobel Journal has lots of fun fonts and creative ways to document life that might encourage readers to have their own journal for their ticket stubs and boy drama. This book is kind of all over the place as you follow around a teenager who isn’t exactly emotionally stable, trying to figure out who she is. There are also some illustrations that could be considered inappropriate for young audiences, which would not make this book ideal for putting on a classroom shelf.
*Contains moderate sexual content