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Doodlebug: A Novel in Doodles

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  171 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
Moving is tough. Being the new kid in school is even tougher. But the hardest thing of all about the move that Doreen "Dodo" Bussey's family is making is that she suspects it might be because of her. She got into trouble at her last school.

On the drive to their new home, her mother gives Dodo a blank notebook, which she uses to chronicle the move, the first days in a new c
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published July 6th 2010 by Feiwel & Friends (first published 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 390)
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Lars Guthrie
Oct 02, 2010 Lars Guthrie rated it it was amazing
I've been reading some good graphic books aimed at twelve-year-old girls recently. Jane Yolen and Mike Cavallaro's 'Foiled.' Raina Telgemeir's 'Smile.' Amy Ignatow's 'The Popularity Papers.' So good that boys should read them, too.

But 'Doodlebug' is just extraordinary. Doreen Bussey, aka DoDo, aka Doodlebug, chronicles her family's move from Los Angeles to San Francisco, and her adjustment to a new school, in handwritten text and hand-drawn pictures. Her wonderful and not-at-all weird family is
Maureen "Dodo" Bussey got kicked out of school (selling her Ritalin pills to the other students for $.25 a pop was NOT a good idea), so her family is picking up and moving to San Francisco. Dodo's mom gives her a blank book to draw in to keep her busy on the trip, and once Dodo starts drawing, she can't stop. She chronicles everything in her life with words and doodles, and is determined to re-create herself at her new school as "Doodlebug." Drawing isn't just a part of her new image, though - i ...more
Oct 25, 2011 Carol rated it it was ok
Middle-schooler Dooreen (Dodo) Bussey has had a few problems at school. So you think she would be excited about moving to a new city and starting fresh at a new school. Not so, she is still quite nervous about relocating from LA to San Francisco. On the drive there she discovers doodling and even decides to call herself "The Doodlebug". Filling her blank sketchbook with doodles of the move and her new life proves an excellent outlet for her ADD. Unfortunately, not all of her new teachers find it ...more
Jul 25, 2010 Tasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
Dodo has been expelled from her last school because she tried to sell her Ritalin to other students in her class. Now her family is moving from LA to San Francisco. Her parents are hoping for a fresh start for their careers and for Dodo. Her younger sister Momo is angry about the move, and Dodo is unsure that it will make any difference at all. On the trip, Dodo discovers that she loves to draw, that doodling makes her calmer and better able to deal with the drive and the move. Dodo starts a new ...more
Cindy Hudson
Oct 05, 2010 Cindy Hudson rated it really liked it
Dodo (short for Doreen) renames herself Doodlebug when she starts drawing to pass the time during the family’s move from Los Angeles to San Francisco. She likes it so much, and she’s so good at it, that she keeps on doodling through her classes at her new school. It helps her make friends, but some of her teachers are not amused. Can she convince them that doodling helps her learn?

Doodlebug, a Novel in Doodles by Karen Romano Young explores how some children have different learning styles and wa
Apr 05, 2012 Dorothy rated it it was ok
I was interested to read this, as it is part of this genre I'm just discovering exists . . . fictional autobiographic comic-style journals drawn by fake youngsters. This one was extra eerie because it reminded me a lot of my typical old drawing style. Then I remembered that it was supposed to be drawn by a twelve-year-old, and that made me sad. Reminded me again of why I've pretty much given up this style . . . even though I can pretend my drawings were better. I'm sure this author's drawings wo ...more
Sarah Sammis
May 11, 2011 Sarah Sammis rated it it was amazing
Dodo and Momo are moving to San Francisco with their family. For the ride from Los Angeles, they are each given a blank sketch book. Dodo decides to turn her's into a diary. Doodlebug by Karen Romano Young is Dodo's diary.

What caught my attention first was the plot, namely the move they were making. Having gone through that move myself, though not with children and not as a child, I was hooked. The diary part also got my attention. When I was in high school I briefly kept a doodle diary.

Some of
Kids will pore over Dodo's doodles, if not be inspired to document their own lives with a doodle diary. But these aging eyes found the format cluttered and distracting, and the story wasn't memorable enough for me to remember what came before when I picked it up again.
W.H. Beck
Moving is tough. Being the new kid in school is even tougher. But the hardest thing of all about th...more She doesn't just love doodling, she needs it. . . .Moving is tough. Being the new kid in school is even tougher. But the hardest thing of all about the move that Doreen "Dodo" Bussey's family is making is that she suspects it might be because of her. She got into trouble at her last school. On the drive to their new home, her mother gives Dodo a blank notebook, which she uses to chronicle t ...more
Nov 11, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
12 year old Doreen "Dodo" Bussey is moving to a new city, which means new school, new home, and new friends. To help her relax she starts a sketch book. She soon finds that sketching helps control her A.D.D. and even helps her learn! With the help of some new friends, Dodo uses her sketch book to prove to her teachers, and even her Principal, that she doesn't need medicine to control her behavior--she just needs to be able to doodle! Through her sketches and diary entries, the reader learns to s ...more
Elizabeth A
Dec 28, 2015 Elizabeth A rated it liked it
Shelves: graphix, 2013, kids-ya
I came home with a large bag of books from my library sale, and this was one in the stack. Dodo is diagnosed with ADD, and has been expelled from school. And if that was not bad enough, her Dad has a new job and the family needs to move from Los Angeles to San Francisco. To keep her amused during the move, Dodo is given a sketchbook and a pen, and she finds a new passion - doodling and journaling. She chronicles the challenges of the move, a new school and making new friends. This graphic novel' ...more
Grateful Teacher
Apr 16, 2014 Grateful Teacher rated it it was amazing
Very creative graphic novel. Can't wait to share it with a few 'doodlebugs' in my fourth grade class!
Jan Polep
Dec 30, 2011 Jan Polep rated it liked it
In my search for stories told in letters, diaries, graphic novels...I fell on this one which is written for middle schoolers and written in mostly doodles. ADHD Doreen renames herself Doodlebug after she moves from LA to SF, starts at a new school, and is in and out of trouble for inattention, talking back, ditching class and most of all doodling in class. Quick read, not at all heavy handed, that might help an ADHD kid or any kid for that matter, to realize that there are different learning sty ...more
Stephanie Croaning
Jul 13, 2013 Stephanie Croaning rated it really liked it
This book is very creative and fun to read. The story is told from the viewpoint of a 12-year-old girl with ADD who has learned to control her fidgets by doodling. The entire story is told with hand-written text and doodling...lots of doodling. Karen Romano Young put in a lot of work on this book!

Dodo was kicked out of school in LA, so her father takes a new job in San Francisco and the family make a big move. Dodo has the chance to start anew, and decides to be known as "Doodlebug." Will the f
Visually interesting with emotional connections. Like listening to a friend.
Dec 29, 2014 Daisy rated it it was amazing
Doodlebug's mind might as well be my own. I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!
Oct 16, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-lit, kids-gn
Loved it! The "Doodlebug" is a master of graphic facilitation. (My favorite part is when she helps her sister figure out fractions by drawing an iPod screen with time elapsed/time remaining.) The book makes the best use of its format - it's completely hand-written and hand-drawn, but rather than being "illustrated," the story is enhanced and deepened by all kinds of doodles, designs, drawings, and different lettering styles throughout. It deals with personal development, family issues, school tr ...more
Apr 01, 2014 Meg rated it it was ok
The story itself is interesting enough but it's so hard to follow!
Dodo and her family move to San Francisco and we gradually learn why a new start in school is so important to Dodo. The story is told entirely in dense, black and white "handwritten" text and tons of little drawings (well, doodles). It took a lot of concentration to read! But it is well worth the effort. I love the parents and how supportive they are of their daughters, and I think the story will resonate with a lot of kids who don't quite fit in for whatever reason.
Sep 27, 2010 katsok rated it really liked it
I hadn't heard of this book until I skimmed by it on the library shelves. Graphic novels are huge in my classroom so I picked this one up. I was drawn in more than I thought I would be. The character of Doodlebug was a compelling one. She clearly suffers from ADD and reminded me of so many students I've had over the past years. I love how she articulated her needs, through words and drawings. A nice reminder of the need to know each student individually.
Sep 27, 2011 Julie rated it liked it
Shelves: kids, graphic
The busy page layout and small handwriting made this a tough read for me, though maybe my age is a factor in that. I liked how the book covered alternative learning styles and the fact that the parents were very human and had fears, but I thought the story lacked continuity (or maybe the format just made me feel that way?). Good for upper elementary/early middle school.

Also, if you know the song Doodlebugs by Laurie Berkner, it'll be stuck in your head.
Jul 30, 2010 Donalyn rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I must admit that I was not interested in reading another graphic novel copying Diary of a Wimpy Kid, but Dodo (aka Doodlebug) pulled me into her story. Doodlebug has ADHD, which causes problems at school. She finds an outlet for her energy and feelings by doodling in her notebook.

My only complaint, my eyes are getting too old to read the scrawled print and tiny sidebars. Oh, well, I'm not the target audience. Their eyes are better!
Mar 27, 2011 Maggie rated it really liked it
I loved this book. We had just gotten some new books in my school library, and I knew this was the one for me. Of course, it's hard to read at first, because it's all complicated and doodley, but at some point you get the hang of it. That is pretty much the only bad thing about this book. Let me take that back. It's not even BAD, and my REAL star rating is 4 and 3/4, but IT DOESN"T LET ME DO THAT. Anyway, it's a grest book.
Emilia P
Sep 20, 2010 Emilia P rated it liked it
Shelves: comic-books
quite serviceable. Reminded me of an illustrated version of Dar Williams Amalee books in it's slightly crunchy, Free To Be You And Me attitude. The doodle style worked well, but I would have liked a more fun story to go along with it. That said, the story was cute enough, and got meta -- doodling is good! visual learning should not be overlooked! - near the end. Can't complain. Recommended by that lovely Ruth friend of mine.
Apr 12, 2011 Deborah added it
Shelves: middle-grade
Talk about "show, don't tell"...

Dodo, aka "Doodlebug", is all over the pages of this book, a story told completely in her hand. We can actually follow her brain all over the page, and see the way her ADD mind works. But this is not a gimmick – Romano Young has a traditional, strong story and wonderful characters under all of the doodles.

Made me want to go find my Ed Emberly books!
Feb 17, 2011 Mary rated it really liked it
ADD - moving - somewhat diary style. Really liked this one. Doreen is borderline ADD but does not want to take ridalin and by zoned out. Family is moving as she's afraid it's her fault--trouble at old school. On the trip to new house discovers doodling. Really helps her keep calm and deal with things, but will her new teachers go for it?
Dec 28, 2011 Ann rated it it was amazing
This is going to be compared to Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and it is so much more. Doodlebug's story is so much more complex and interesting, and her family and friends feel real instead of caricatures.

The doodle format is sometimes hard to read, but I think that will depend on the age of the reader.
I really loved this book.
Childrens Librarian
Nov 19, 2010 Childrens Librarian rated it really liked it
Shelves: j-fic
Easy to recommend because of the format. This one deals with some good meaty content because the main character is trying to manage her adhd without medication but a couple of teachers at her new middle school don't want to let her draw during class (a technique that helps her concentrate). Good resolution. -Maeve
Aug 13, 2011 Karen rated it really liked it
This is a really cute book that deals with some big themes, like learning differences and moving. I loved the format. It's made to look like it's an actual kid's journal - handwritten and filled with doodles. Kids who liked The Popularity Papers or Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf will love this, too.
Apr 15, 2013 Tracie rated it really liked it
Shelves: j, realistic
A young girl and her family move from LA to San Fransisco. She chronicles and deals with the stress of their first few months there by drawing doodles in a blank notebook her Mom gives her. She also discovers doodling helps her concentrate as she has decided not to take her Ritalin.
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