by Samuel Sattin, Illustrated by Rye Hickman
Little, Brown Ink
A moving middle grade graphic novel about friendship, belonging, and learning to love yourself despite the voices in your head.
Isaac Itkin can't get away from his thoughts.
As a lonely twelve-year-old kid with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), everything from studying to looking in the mirror becomes a battle between him and a swarm of unhelpful thoughts.
The strict therapy his mother insists on doesn't seem to be working, but when a group of friends invites him to join their after-school role-playing game, the thoughts feel a little less loud, and the world feels a little brighter.
But Isaac's therapist says that exposure to games can have negative effects on kids with OCD, and when his grades slip, his helicopter mother won't let him play anymore. Now Isaac needs to find a way to prove to himself, to his mother, and to the world that the way to quiet the noise in his head may have been inside him all along.
Target age: 8 to 12
"The power of a role-playing group can't fix everything, but it goes a long way. Isaac is a teen with OCD [and] suffers from near-constant intrusive thoughts, cleverly visualized here as bees with mean voices. Over the story, he builds confidence and community by leaning into his love of fantasy and drawing; as a former fellow misfit teen artist, it was wonderful to watch him grow. This is a nuanced and diverse coming-of-age story. I'm so excited for all of the readers who will discover it and see themselves in it."-- Maia Kobabe, author of Gender Queer: A Memoir
"A heartwarming, authentic middle-grade graphic novel... Buzzing blooms with insight, inspiration, and compassion." -- Shelf Awareness, starred review
About the Contributors:
Samuel Sattin is an author and coffee addict. He is the adapter of Cartoon Saloon's Academy Award Nominated Irish Folklore trilogy to graphic novel format , and is writing a reimagining of the Osamu Tezuka character, Unico, for a new manga series. His past work includes Bezkamp and The Silent End. He graduated with an MFA in Comics from California College of the Arts and a Creative Writing MFA from Mills College, and lives in Oakland, California.
Rye Hickman is a visual storyteller and a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design's Sequential Art program. Past work includes Lonely Receiver, TEST, Moth & Whisper, and more. They get really excited about dystopian fiction, good coffee, and drawing hands.