Lori Redman's Reviews > Smile

Smile by Raina Telgemeier
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Sep 17, 12

bookshelves: graphic-novel, elementary, middleschool, memoir
Read in September, 2012

Raina Telgemeier is an 11-year-old girl who just wants to fit in. She dreads getting her braces- but the week before she does, she trips and falls- and knocks out her two front teeth! Suddenly, Raina is put on the path of dental surgeries, fake teeth AND braces- and now middle school seems all the worse for it. Raina also must come to terms with some friends who may not be true friends, the trials and tribulations of getting older, and even a crush.

Smile is a fabulous story. I think anyone reading this can instantly be transported back to that time period and relate to Raina's story. This is a true story of what happened to the author when SHE was in sixth grade and beyond. She initially released these comics on the web as a serial comic, and then compiled it into a graphic novel book. But it is a cohesive story- I never would have guessed that she did it in installments. It flows very nicely.

The art isn't terribly original but it looks great. The characters are easy to relate to, and it reads like a chapter book.

I don't have much else to say about the story except- it's very well done. I'd only be concerned with the age group that it's recommended for. It does mention girls going through puberty and wearing bras, and secret crushes- and the main character actually ends up in high school (because the book spans the course of many years). But I think the author addresses these things in a very subtle way that I'm not sure would actually offend anyone. I definitely recommend this book.
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