Monday, February 28, 2011

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

One ordinary day, Raina has an accident that knocks out both her front teeth.  As if being in middle school wasn't bad enough, now she's in middle school with no front teeth.  Raina's accident is followed by years of painful surgery and all kinds of unpleasant mouth related drama.  While all this is going on, Raina is also learning more about herself, her interests, and whom her friends are.

This was great.  It was sweet and uplifting and made me laugh and cringe.  It was very honest

While it might seem like this biography is mostly about a young girl's teeth drama, which is partly true, there's also all the stuff that's going on with Raina's group of friends.  You're probably familiar with this dynamic.  You have a big group of kids who are all friends and there's one kid who ends up being teased a lot.  Oh it's all in fun, you're all friends, but there's one who's always getting ganged up on.  That's Raina, and as time goes on, she's getting awfully tired of it.  She wonders if these people are really her friends at all.  I was so glad when in high school Raina finally got up the courage to tell all those not very nice "friends" where they could shove it and went off and did her own thing.  And when she did, she found people with similar interests who she really liked and who really liked her.

The art was done in traditional comic strip style in black and white with straight panels

While for much of the book Raina is in middle school, I think both middle grade and high school students would enjoy this.  It's not just about middle school or teeth.  It was about discovering yourself and that's something that any age person can relate to.  Especially when it's done so nicely.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...