Monday, January 20, 2014

Review: Smile by Raina Telgemeier

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

Series: Smile, #1
Release Date
: February 1st, 2010
Publisher:  GRAPHIX
: 214
Genre: Middle Grade – graphic novel, realistic fiction
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Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girls 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. Raina's story takes us from middle school to high school, where she discovers her artistic voice, finds out what true friendship really means, and where she can

Smile is a graphic novel based on a true story about Raina Telgemeier’s childhood and what she had to go through with her teeth. One day after Girl Scout meeting, Raina and her friends have a race up to her doorstep. Raina trips and falls and knocks both of her front teeth. One is pushed all the way up inside the gum and the other they have to put in milk to save. From that moment on she goes through all sorts of dental work. From surgery and a cast to a retainer with fake teeth attached, and eventually braces.

Throughout this she is going from 6th grade all the way up to her high school years. She has to deal with a tornado, boys, and friends that are not very nice to her. When Raina finally decides that she is going to stand up for herself she makes a big step in her life. She finds friends that really mean something to her. I was so proud of her for standing up for herself.

Smile is a story that rings true for many kids. Maybe not the broken teeth part but definitely the struggles with self-image and wanting to fit in. This is a great story on how to overcome that and be your own person. You will find friends that like you for who you are. This book is funny, sad, and definitely moving at times.

I really enjoyed the illustrations in this book. They are full color panels with an occasional full page graphic thrown in. They do a really good job of showing the emotions of the characters.

Smile was also the winner of multiple awards, including the Will Eisner award for Best Publication for a Teen Audience in 2011. It was also mentioned for other awards and was a Kirkus Best Books of 2010 and a New York Times Editors’ Choice.  This is totally a book I would recommend anyone to pick up. Especially kids that may be going through some of the same things. Also turns out there will be a sequel or companion novel to this book. I can’t wait to get my hands on that.

My Rating:

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