“Unforgettable . . . will shake middle grade readers to the core.”—School Library Journal, starred review
“Beautifully illustrated, relatable, and genuine.” —Molly Brooks, creator of Sanity & Tallulah
“Everyone needs to buy this book now. Seriously. Buy it, read it, share it.”—Colleen Nelson, author and teacher
Honest and funny, this award-winning 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 judgement, 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.
“An honest and hopeful depiction of life with mental illness.”
“Fung successfully strikes a balance in discussing issues of mental health, belonging and cultural differences with engaging illustrations and an interesting story.”
“Fung presents her affecting debut in vibrant, full-color panels overflowing with energy and motion.”
“Intimate and unforgettable . . . This deeply moving graphic novel will shake middle grade readers to the core . . . An essential purchase.”
“Hard to do better than this book. . . . Smart, empathetic, and hopeful.”
“The book’s artwork is excellent, and the text works in flawless partnership with it to convey actions, emotions, and moods. . . . an outstanding graphic novel.”
“This dynamically illustrated graphic novel takes the reader into the inner workings of Livy’s mind and life. One cannot help but cheer for Livy as she slowly overcomes her anxiety and finally breaks free from the negative and destructive voice of Viola.”
“A unique book exploring culture and mental health in kids.”
“Livy’s culturally specific concerns, including her family’s reluctance to discuss mental health, will resonate with diasporic readers, though the exceptionally poignant moments that arise from her work navigating her anxiety reinforce the importance of asking for help for any reader.”
“Elevates the graphic novel genre with its heartfelt focus on mental health and immigrant experiences.”
“A poignant and candid exploration of cultural differences and mental health.”
“A keenly felt and nuanced look at anxiety disorder.”
“This is a rich, moving, multimodal reading experience . . . LIVING WITH VIOLA is a major middle-grade graphic novel debut that explores Fung’s weighty themes deftly and with nuance. This is a wonderful book that young readers and grown-up graphic novel aficionados will both appreciate and love.”