Drawn from real life, here is a bracingly honest illustrated diary of a teenage girl that captures the explosive turmoil and joy of adolescence.
Meet Phoebe. She’s cool and insecure, talented and vulnerable, sexy and awkward, driven and confused, ecstatic and tragic.
And here is her diary, packed full of invaluable friends and heartbreaking crushes, spectacular playlists and vintage outfits, drama nerds and art kids, old wounds and new love. Based on her own teenage diary, Phoebe Wahl has melded truth with fiction and art with text, casting a spell that brings readers deep into the experience of growing up.
Part graphic novel, mpart memoir, totally relatable. Phoebe’s Diary was a little like looking behind the curtain of my own awkward theater-loving life. Phoebe is complicated only in the way that high school girls can be complicated – longing for independence, still needing her family, wanting to be cool, wanting to be herself, wanting to be kissed. Phoebe wants to fit in with the cool kids but also doesn’t want to conform. She’s homeschooled (ish), and proud of it. She’s creative and crafty and artsy and angsty and fun.
This is a great book for any teen or pre-teen girl in your life. Or for you to read if you want to know more about what it is like living in the head of said girl. As someone who remembers the cringe-worthy crushes and longings to be accepted, I thought this book was a delight. A scarily accurate delight sometimes, but a delight to be sure.
Phoebe Wahl is an award-winning children’s book author, illustrator, and surface designer whose work focuses on themes of comfort, fantasy, and intimacy with nature and one another. She grew up unschooled in Washington state and credits her free-range childhood in the Northwest for much of her inspiration and values.
Phoebe’s first children’s book, Sonya’s Chickens was the recipient of the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award for New Illustrator, and her most recent book, Little Witch Hazel was an Indie Bestseller, Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Title, as well as being named one of the Best Books of 2021 by BookPage, BookRiot, Booklist and the Chicago Public Library.
Her other titles include The Blue House, Backyard Fairies, Paper Mice (written by Megan Wagner-Lloyd) and the forthcoming illustrated YA novel Phoebe’s Diary (Little, Brown 2023). Her clients include The New York Times, Maisonette, Figo Fabrics, Ingrid Michaelson, Patagonia, and Anna Sui.
Phoebe lives in Bellingham, Washington with her family and two rambunctious cats.