Ordinary Mishaps and Inevitable Catastrophes: Frazzled, Book 2

Book review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
Ordinary Mishaps and Inevitable Catastrophes: Frazzled, Book 2 Book Poster Image
More middle school anxiety in funny graphic novel.

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Kids say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

How to use a combination lock. The scientific method defined and each step explained.

Positive Messages

Accomplishing something makes you feel proud and happy with yourself. Not knowing what will happen or if something will work is what makes life fun and interesting. Sometimes things do work out. You'll often be surprised by getting to know someone; you probably have more in common than you think. Middle school might seem like the worst, but as you learn to cope it gets better.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Abbie is sure that if something can go wrong, it will. She's having a hard time in middle school because she thinks new things are messy, confusing, and unpredictable. Her new friend Jess is easygoing and very considerate of Abbie. Abbie learns the value of getting to know someone new, and some of Jess's confidence that things will work out starts to rub off on Abbie. Eventually, Abbie learns that things do sometimes work out in the end, and that even if it's not in the way you expected, that's OK. Abbie has a diverse group of friends, and her family models talking out problems and everyone contributing to the household in some way.

Violence & Scariness

A couple of brief mentions of a bully as sadistic and cruel. One picture shows him stepping on a backpack, and another shows him holding a locker door with someone inside the locker, laughing, and calling the person "loser."


A couple of brief bodily function jokes, one about farting and one about a litter box. Boy calls a student "loser."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Booki Vivat's Ordinary Mishaps and Inevitable Catastrophes: Frazzled, Book 2 is a graphic novel that continues Abbie Wu's adventures in middle school. As neurotic as ever, Abbie learns this time the value in getting to know someone better, and how to cope when things don't turn out as expected. There are a couple of bodily function jokes (farting, a picture of the litter box) and a couple of mentions with illustrations of the class bully. New friend Jess is a great model for self-confidence, optimism, and being a thoughtful friend. Abbie has a diverse group of friends, and she and her family are good role models for contributing to the family and talking through problems.

User Reviews

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Kid, 9 years old March 31, 2018
If you liked the first book in this series, this second book is just as good! It’s completely appropriate and reassuring, and it’s a quick read that younger rea... Continue reading

What's the story?

In ORDINARY MISHAPS AND INEVITABLE CATASTROPHES:  FRAZZLED, BOOK 2, Abbie Wu is starting to feel like middle school just might be manageable after all. But deep in her heart, she knows that if something can go wrong, it will. And boy does it ever go wrong. As if staying afloat in middle school weren't hard enough, Abbie now has to cope with a locker thief, and with being partnered for a science project with a new girl who's a total stranger. On the home front, Abbie's older brother is actually nice sometimes, but her younger sister's new cat definitely never is. How's a sixth-grader supposed to cope?

Is it any good?

Fans of, and newcomers to, the world of Abbie Wu will be delighted with the funny, lively graphic novel that continues Abbie's journey through sixth grade. Author and illustrator Booki Vivat's Ordinary Mishaps and Inevitable Catastrophes finds the slightly neurotic but oh-so-relatable Abbie learning how to cope when things go wrong. The anime-influenced illustrations are lively and charming. Readers who are anxious about middle school will laugh along as they learn that even when things go wrong, it's not the end of the world.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Murphy's Law in Ordinary Mishaps and Inevitable Catastrophes. Do you agree that if something can go wrong, it will? How do you cope when things go wrong?

  • Why is Jess a good role model? Would you like to have a friend like her? Could you be a friend like her?

  • Abbie says middle school is the worst. What's so bad about it? Is there anything good to look forward to about it?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love middle school stories and graphic novels

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