Thursday, June 19, 2014

Smile by Raina Telgemeier


Overview from Barnes and Noble:

From the artist of BSC Graphix comes this humorous coming-of-age true story about the dental drama that ensues after a trip-and-fall mishap.
Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. What follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there's still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly.
Winner of the 2011 Eisner Award for Best Publication for Teens
My thoughts:
Middle school can be such a hard time for kids in general.  Finding a group of friends, being comfortable in ones own skin, being able to figure out who you are.  Then add in the emerging idea of boyfriends and girlfriends and it can be uncomfortable and scary and tricky at the same time.  I love how Telgemeier shared her own experience in this book and showed how it all worked out in the end.  I wasn't expecting it to be a graphic novel when I opened the front cover, but I found that I really enjoyed it!  I think showing the growing pains she had with friends who turned out to not be so great could help younger readers look at their own friendships to see if they seem healthy or not.  If you are always being teased is that person your friend?  If you are left out of group plans are those people your friends?  Just because you came from elementary school together and were friends there, does that mean that you still have common interests and enjoy spending time together?  Do you have other talents that might blossom if you were not afraid of being teased if you show them?  I also like how she showed how focused she was on her appearance and how, for her true friends, it really didn't matter.  True friends like you for you, not how you look or what you have or what you can do, so if you have a friend who does not accept one of those things about you, they may not be a real friend.

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545132060
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/1/2010
  • Pages: 224

Meet the Author

Raina Telgemeier grew up in San Francisco, then moved to New York City, where she earned an illustration degree at the School of Visual Arts. She is the creator of SMILE, a critically acclaimed graphic memoir based on her childhood, which was a NEW YORK TIMES bestseller and winner of the Will Eisner Award for Best Publication for Teens, and received a BOSTON GLOBE-HORN BOOK Honor. Raina also adapted and illustrated The Baby-sitters Club graphic novels, which were selected for YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens list and BOOKLIST’s Top 10 Graphic Novels for Youth list. Her new graphic novel for Scholastic is titled DRAMA. Raina lives in Astoria, New York, with her husband, Dave Roman. To learn more, visit her online at

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