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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, and 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. This coming-of-age true story is sure to resonate with anyone who has ever been in middle school, and especially those who have ever had a bit of their own dental drama.

214 pages, Hardcover

First published July 12, 2009

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Raina Telgemeier

58 books14.6k followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 12,271 reviews
Profile Image for Tucker  (TuckerTheReader).
908 reviews1,597 followers
May 23, 2020

no joke. i have read this book at least 100 times. that's not an exaggeration. i read it at least once a week. sometimes multiple times a day. this book will stay with me forever. and i will grow old with it.
the humor and art combined with the raw emotion makes for the best graphic novel memoir I've ever read

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Profile Image for Cate Levinson.
33 reviews39 followers
February 22, 2011
Poet Ogden Nash said, "Some tortures are physical/And some are mental,/But the one that is both/Is dental."

Graphic Novelist Raina Talgemeier knows this all too well; she is the Odysseus of modern dentistry. The author tells of her own particular journey of adolescent woe which came in the form of a seemingly endless tangle of dentists, endontists, periodontists, orthodonists, with their promises to perfect her not-so pearly whites.

In sixth grade Tanglemeier got braces to fix a run-of-the-mill overbite. Then, while horsing around with her friends, she fell, and knocked out her two front teeth. This one misstep plunged her into a four-year ordeal of painful procedures, torturous surgeries, not-to-mention a perpetually changing appearance at a time when every kid is having a crisis of confidence. (As if puberty isn't traumatic enough!) Follow this lost heroine as she battles pimples, overcomes destructive friendships with hypercritical mean girls, endures painful oral surgeries, and finally finds her way to feeling at home in her own skin when she reaches high school.

In a particularly wonderful moment, Raina rebukes her long-time "friends" who do nothing but tear her down and tease her. She realizes no friends are better than those friends. Of course she adrift and lonely for a while, but Raina makes new friends soon enough.

The moment-of-truth comes when Raina is finally freed from her brace-faced prison. Despite all she has endured, the results are far from perfect. Dreading what she has come to expect as inevitable teasing in response to each dental iteration, she approaches her friends with trepidation. But these new friends are nothing like the petty old friends. They're like, "you look cute... let's go eat!" Phew! These new amigos are actually fun to be around. What's more they love and support her. And with that they wander off into a bright future. This is a must-read for anyone who has ever gone through puberty; you know who you are. Welcome home weary traveler!
Profile Image for Idarah.
464 reviews48 followers
June 13, 2022
Smile is a memoir graphic novel that centers around Telgemeier's traumatic orthodontic experience. Although this book has been making the popularity rounds on YouTube and in other YA circles, it didn't really appeal to me until a booktuber I follow, who isn't a reader of YA books, mentioned a few things that piqued my interest. Coupled with the fact that I myself have been experiencing a dental nightmare since November, I figured I was primed to appreciate this book.

First things first, you don't really need to know too much about the plot, because it really will ruin it for you. Trust me. Here are a few things that may motivate you to give this book a second glance. (1) Don't be fooled by the bright red "Scholastic" imprint on the cover. This is book that will appeal to people of all ages. In fact, it's kinda like Shrek. Anyone can appreciate it, but if you're over 21 and enjoy snarky humor, then you will love it doubly! That kind of leads to the next point. (2) If you are part of Generation Y or an aficionado of the 80s and early 90s, then you will so appreciate the trip down memory lane. The attention to fashion, technology, and pop culture was so awesome! (3) It's set in San Francisco. Hello, dream place to live. Need I say more? The good news is that Telgemeier is working on a followup to this memoir series entitled Sisters. So looking forward to it!
Profile Image for Calista.
3,885 reviews31.2k followers
May 4, 2018
A great read. I enjoyed the story and wow, I had no idea that orthodontists could move teeth that dramatically. I mean this girl really went through a lot with her teeth. She knocked out her front two teeth. She went through some hell here.

This is a great coming of age story with great colors and fun art. The story was fun and fast and honest.

I will read more of these books.
Profile Image for Ines.
320 reviews196 followers
February 4, 2020
WONDERFUL!! My daughter and I have enjoyed so much this autobiographical graphic novel.... Raina is a nice little girl, struggling with a crazy fear; that her severe teeth's trauma could compromise her friendships, school experiences and normal social relationships.
But, how it will end!??.
Beautiful, simple and immediate story to read, my daughter was hooked by Raina from the very first page.
We will definitely read the other chapters, too!!

MERAVIGLIOSO!! io e mia figlia ci siamo godute tantissimo questa graphic novel autobiografica.....Raina è una ragazzina simpatica, alle prese con una paura pazzesca; che il suo grave trauma ai denti possa comprometterle le amicizie, esperienze scolastiche e le normali relazioni sociali.
E invece.....
Storia bella, semplice e di lettura immediata,a mia figlia è rimasta subito simpatica Raina.
Leggeremo sicuramente anche gli altri capitoli!!
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
November 12, 2019
Smile (Smile #1), Raina Telgemeier
Smile is an autobiographical graphic novel written by Raina Telgemeier. It gives an account of the author's life from sixth grade to high school. 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, and 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. This coming-of-age true story is sure to resonate with anyone who has ever been in middle school, and especially those who have ever had a bit of their own dental drama.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز دوازدهم ماه مارس سال 2019 میلادی
عنوان: لبخندها؛ نویسنده: رینا تلگمایر؛ مترجم: هدی نژادحسینیان؛ ویرایش: نیما مهدیزاده اشرفی؛ تهران: نشر اطراف، راه راه، ‏‫1397؛ در 180 ص؛ شابک: 9786226194068؛ موضوع: داستانهای تصویری از نویسندگان و کارتونیستهای ایالات متتحده آمریکا - سده 20 م‬

کتاب «لبخندها» که «رینا تلگمایر» بر اساس یادمانهای کودکی خویش از کلاس ششم تا دبیرستان، و ماجراهای اورتودنسی دندان‌هایش نگاشته و تصویرسازی کرده، یکی از پرفروشترین کتاب‌های مصور نوجوانانه‌ ی فهرست نیویورک‌ تایمز است. از دیگر جایزه‌ های این کتاب می‌توان به جایزه‌ ی «ویل آیزنر» برای بهترین اثر نوجوانان اشاره کرد. نویسنده و تصویرگر این کتاب، «رینا تلگمایر»، یکی از کارتونیست‌های شناخته‌ شده‌ ی نسل جدید است که با تصویرسازی مجموعه‌ کتاب مصور باشگاه پرستاران بچه و بعد با نوشتن و تصویرسازی کتاب لبخندها شناخته شد. «رینا تلگمایر» همچنین خالق کتاب مصور «دراما» از کتاب‌های پرفروش نیویورک‌تایمز و یکی از ده کتاب مصور برتر نوجوانان «یالسا» است. کتاب دوم این سه گانه با عنوان: «خواهرها»؛ و کتاب سوم ... هنوز ترجمه نشده است؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Victoria.
5 reviews
February 14, 2012

Smile is a comic book by Raina Telgemeier that is funny, sad, touching and very moving. about a girl named Raina who just wants to fit in like everyone else and be a normal sixth grader. But one night, after her girl scout meeting, she trips an falls. This causes her two front teeth to be seriously injured. This only gets worse when it leads problems one after another. Raina is constantly getting her Braces taken on and off of her again, she get’s surgery, a retainer with fake teeth attached, and just when you think that it couldn’t get any worse she is forced to wear extremely embarrassing headgear! While she has to deal with her dental problems, she has many more things to worry about, a major earthquake, boys, and friends who eventually turn out to be not so nice.

The thing that I liked the most about this book is that , it is a true story written by the author about the author’s teenage experiences from Middle School through High School. The book is also illustrated by the author. This means that it’s very original, because every teenager or child could relate tremendously. Raina Telgemeier has captured the highs and lows of being a teenager perfectly through her brilliantly illustrated comics. She has made the truth obvious that it’s not easy being a teenager, and that everybody at some point goes through something similar.

One of my favorite two scenes was when Raina was angry about the fact that the dentist was going to pull out her teeth, in order to move the rest of her top teeth toward the center. But when her mom invites her to come along with her sister to watch “The Little Mermaid” in the Cinemas. And since Raina was still grumpy about her teeth she acted as if she was reluctant to go. So when she’s inside the Cinema and waiting for the movie to begin, she thinks “Whatever. I’m too old for this Disney stuff. I’m totally gonna Hate this movie. I just know it. I’m totally gonna..........”. But the minute the movie and music starts , Raina becomes completely engrossed and enchanted with The little Mermaid. When the movie finally ends, she leaves the cinema still thinking about the movie. And way after the movie has ended, at least a week later, she is still obsessed about it. Because of the movie, Raina tells her friend “I finally know what I want to be when I grow up! And animator!”.

I like this scene because it was funny but interesting at the same time. Raina first comes into the cinema with the mindset that the movie is going to be completely uninteresting, but leaves the cinema completely spellbound with the movie and mermaids. These scene shows you that you shouldn’t always judge things before you know the full story.

The second of my favorite scenes was when Raina was waiting in line to get a snack, her two friends Nicole and Karin pulled her skirt down when she was’t looking.In a matter of seconds the eyes of the school were glued on her. Raina panics and runs into the girls bathroom sobbing. Eventually her friends come into the girl’s bathroom to get her to come back out. But Nicole and Karin couldn’t stop laughing when Raina comes out. It finnally reached to the boiling point where Raina couldn’t take it any more and stood up for herself. Here is a part of the scene where Raina stands up for herself.

Raina: You guys want a reaction from me? Fine: Karin, I am NOT a dog, Nicole I am NOT a vampire.
Nicole: Oh C’mon I haven’t called you that since--
Raina: And I am NOT going to let the rest of you disrespect me anymore! I’m done, GOOD-BYE!

I like this scene because, her friends have been teasing and putting her down for the past few years and Raina had to tolerate it. But when it had gone too far, she stood up for what was right. Every time her friends insulted her, it kind of made them feel better about themselves in some kind of twisted way. But just by standing up to her friends, it took away their “power” and pride of hurting her feelings. I really admire her for doing that. Because of what Raina did, she has inspired and taught me that, sometimes you have to be brave and let go of things in order to move forward.

Overall this book was amazing. It’s one of the best comic books that I’ve ever read, Raina Telgemeier has really captured the true feelings and emotions that every teenager goes experiences, through engaging illustrations. This book is extremely inspirational, has a lot of lessons to be learnt from it and I highly recommend it 5 stars out of 5. Remember, you don’t have to wear braces to enjoy this book!
Profile Image for Greta G.
337 reviews243 followers
April 21, 2019
Just like her other book I read last year, Sisters, ‘Smile’ is a sparkling and engaging graphic novel that’s aimed at a younger audience, but manages to be entertaining for adults also. At least it was for me!
The story centers around Raina’s traumatic dental experiences when she was a young teenager, and the most satisfactory part of the book was when she finally opposed her friends who teased her one too many times.
The book ‘Sisters’ made me smile more than ‘Smile’ though.
Profile Image for Seth T..
Author 5 books864 followers
March 29, 2012
Smile by Raina Telgemeier

Braces sucked. From sixth through the beginning of eighth grade, I wore braces. Not brackets, but bands. On every tooth. Errant wires carved totems of the soft tissue at the back of my jaw—sacred designs that I'm sure exist there to this day. My smiles looked of cold steel. My jaw hurt from aggressive application of rubber bands. And my teeth would not get clean. At the end of those two years, I had the perfect smile—or at least the perfect teeth with which to perform that kind of smile had I known how to do such a thing in eighth grade. A quarter-century later and I still have the physical tools with which to enact the perfect smile as well as something of the social gearwork to make my attempts less ghastly. Braces, for me, worked their magic. And I'm still not sure it was worth it.

Still, regardless of how difficult my own experience was, those pains, miseries, and woes pale when compared to the manifold sorrows with which Raina Telgemeier's young life was cursed. The author, when she was in sixth grade, fell and did substantial damage to her two front teeth. Knocked one out and smashed the other one up into the gumline. I'm getting queasy just writing about it because as Telgemeier relates the event and immediate aftermath in her autobio comic, Smile, the whole experience is rather harrowing. I'm not usually one to blanch at grusome displays of violence in either prose or comics or film or art. Caravaggio's Judith leaves me nonplussed. Murakami's manskinner in The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is exciting but never nauseating. And the cannibalistic humour in Chew is merely amusing. But Telgemeier's recountment of her accident, the blood, the immediate visit to the dental surgeon, the x-rays showing where her missing tooth went—it all made me a bit faint.

Fortunately, all that was just the first fifteen pages or so. After that, Smile shifts into something not dissimilar to the common Young Adult exploration of junior-high– and then high-school–insecurities. The drama of growing up and all that. Only: young Raina also has much more orthodontic work in her immediate future than would the average kid suffering the slings and arrows of burgeoning puberty. Telgemeier balances the telling between school drama and mouth drama nicely—though it helps the reader to know that this is not just a story but that it is Telgemeier's story. Through Raina, the author relives a streamlined and story-driven version of her own life and makes it palatable for general audiences.

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

If I have one complaint about the book, it's that its lessons seem too pat, its morals too well-placed. The whole experience is very After School Special—not in that this is a story ineptly told (for Telgemeier is obviously well-skilled and the book well-crafted), but simply because everything fits together so very nicely. Which we don't often come to expect from biography. Lives are too messy to be retold so crisply. Of course, it may be possible that Telgemeier really lives in the sweetness that lifts so pleasantly from Smile's pages. To that, then, my criticism is not so much that the history Telgemeier relates is not believable, but instead that it's just not complicated enough. It doesn't leave much for the reader to think on once the last page is turned.

But that most likely wasn't Teglemeier's intent and her audience plausibly isn't a cynical guy who's more than twenty years older than Smile's principle figure. So make of that what you will.

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

To its fortune, Smile is a brisk read for all its pages and will keep most readers interested enough to finish the book in a single sitting. The book paces well and even the pieces that seemed familiar or predictable always escape feeling formulaic or contrived. And Telgemeier makes Raina into a sympathetic character who, even when at her most pathetic or bratty, is someone you kind of just want to hold on to and take care of.

Telgemeier's art is lively and fluid and she seems to have little trouble putting her characters into whatever circumstance her story demands of them. Most impressive to me was how she allows her characters to age visibly. Raina begins as a small girl involved in Girl's Scouts, but soon makes the transition to junior high and then across that gulf of development into high school.

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

Telgemeier uses numerous visual cues to help us keep Raina's age straight. More than just the eventual appearance of breasts (the lazy artist's cue of choice), Raina's face, hair, and carriage all shift naturally as she matures. In the final pages, as her ordeal comes to a close, she has apparently grown up and has transitioned from childhood into young womanhood.

I had trouble deciding whether Smile was Good or just Ok. At the end of the day, the book really is something of a trifle, an entertaining yarn that sits pretty firmly in the YA tradition of non-challenging reads. But simultaneously, Telgemeier does a good job at what she sets out to do and the care with which she treats her characters is evident throughout. And while Smile is ostensibly about overcoming a dental crisis, it also explores our common inability to be happy due to our common inadequacies. Smile points out that our reliance upon the things that sour us to life is often entrenched simply because those things are comfortable. In any case, while to adults Smile may just be an entertaining read, to its targeted demographic the book may read like a manual to no longer being miserable.

[Review courtesy of Good Ok Bad]
Profile Image for Jessica.
Author 31 books5,632 followers
April 11, 2018
One of my worst nightmares is breaking or losing my teeth. I had braces for years, and had the orthodontist accidentally crack one of my teeth when he was polishing them up after I got my braces off. It haunts me to this day.

Raina tells the story of her own dental trauma-drama with this delightfully drawn graphic novel that lays bare not only the horror of dealing with the braces, the fake teeth, the retainers after her accident, but also frankly reveals her awkwardness, loneliness, and nerdiness in jr high and beginning high school. The changes of puberty. Having crushes on boys who never look at you, while accidentally offending nice boys who do like you. Mean friends, good friends, and unexpected friends, it's all here. This is a wonderful book!

2018: My daughter, Baby Girl, got this for her ninth birthday a few months ago. Yesterday I asked her how many times she has read it. It's more than five, but less than ten, apparently. So I had to reread it myself, and wow, I had forgotten how great it was, and how it's not just about her teeth, but her life, her friendships, her school struggles.
Profile Image for Erika.
13 reviews
January 27, 2012
This book was very… cute. I had braces for seven years so could I relate to the protagonist’s dental woes? Yes. Was I necessarily engaged while reading? No. I give this book credit where credit is due, I’m sure to a younger audience, perhaps going through what Raina was (to one extent or another) would enjoy the book more than I did. I expect more from the books I read, especially graphic novels, than what was presented here. I found it very basic.

As a reader, I wasn’t hugely impressed. There was no complexity. I could see what was coming and apart from occasionally getting upset with her friends I did not get emotionally involved. It was a quick read and it was over before I really noticed but not in the way that completely engrosses you as a reader, just that the story was so much like a glorified comic strip it flew by.

As a teacher, I would probably have this in my classroom library. I would keep it in case a student was a struggling reader, or if I wanted an example of a graphic novel (though I feel I can keep better examples than this). I would not consider teaching it. I intend to teach high school and as such I would hope this would be a little below their level.

I would recommend this to an early middle school student or a child I knew was about to get braces to sort of ease their worries about what was going to happen to them. I don’t think I would recommend it to anyone solely on literary merit.
Profile Image for Bookishrealm.
1,909 reviews4,818 followers
October 13, 2022
2022 Update: Ya'll this book was just as amazing as the first time that I read it. Raina Telegemeier is such a good place for kids to start when it comes to graphic novels. While this book does focus on her personal experience relating to dentistry, it becomes so much more. We see Raina struggle with moving on from middle school to high school, going through puberty, reckoning with first crushes, and trying to figure out her place in the world. As I stated it my previous thoughts, I think a lot of adult readers will resonate with the story as well. The artwork is phenomenal and really compliments this fascinating coming of age story. I'm definitely looking to flying through the rest of her backlist. Highly recommend!

I loveddd this book! The graphics were amazing and I loved the storyline! it was definitely something everyone even adults could relate to. I'm definitely ready to check out the rest of her stuff! Full review to come.
Profile Image for Maede.
275 reviews398 followers
May 6, 2020
اگر یه دختر نوجوان داشتم حتما این کتاب رو بهش می دادم. این کتاب تصویری در مورد درگیری های ساده ولی اذیت کننده ی سال های بزرگ شدنه. دوست ها، تغییر ظاهر و تغییر فکر. این در واقع زندگینامه ی تارا تصویرگر کتابه که سال های نوجوانیش رو برامون کشیده و مخصوصاً از درگیری هاش با دندون هاش گفته و اینکه چقدر روی زندگیش تاثیر گذاشته

با اینکه من خودم هیچوقت با مسئله ی "دندون" از لحاظ ارتودنسی درگیر نبودم، ولی از لحاظ درمانی اون سالی که هفته ای یک بار یا ماهی یک بار دندون پزشکی میرفتم مثل کابوس توی ذهنم مونده. جدای این قضیه، ورژن نوجوانم مثل تارا خیلی درگیر دوست هاش بود، برای همین خوب درکش کردم

یادم بمونه که این کتاب ساده توی روزای پرمشغله و پر استرسی که باید تو انتظار و صف بانک و پلیس +10 و دفتر خدمات و حراست ده تا جای می موندم و فقط می خواستم حواسم رو پرت کنم و زمان بگذره، به دادم رسید

Profile Image for Jennifer Rayment.
1,246 reviews52 followers
April 9, 2010
Jake's Review: Um Mom, this is like a girls book, do I really have to read it. Come on Jake, just try a few pages and tell me what you think. 1 hour later. Mom this is pretty good for a girls book, but I hope I never have to wear braces. It doesn't sound like its much fun and btw girls are gross! The pictures are very funny and I like that she plays video games. I didn't like the drawings of when she broke her teeth because there was too much blood -- ICKY!. I don't think my friends would like this book because they are boys and boys don't like to read girls stuff. Also I think this book is for older kids because they are talking about liking boys and other icky girls stuff. I don't like that her friends made fun of her for having braces. You shouldnt tease people (Mom's note, he said this 1 hour after teasing his 17 mth old brother) its just not nice. I like the authors drawing and the way she told the story, but I would have liked it better if it was about a boy my age. You can bring me more graphic novel though ok -- much more fun to read than books!
Rating: 7/10 (I know I am surprised he gave it such a high rating)

Mom's Review: I honestly didn't think Jake was going to finish this book, figured he would just read a couple of pages and than give up. Surprised that he read it all and gave me a review on it, I am very proud of him for sticking through it. I absolutely loved this graphic novel, eventhough it brought back many painful memories of my own experience with having braces. This graphic novel is sort of like a cross between a Judy Blume novel and a For Better or Worse comic. The story is written with tons of humour and portrays the awkwardness of being a teen extremely effectively. The story is fast paced, realistic and I think would appeal to the reluctant reader as well as most pre-teen and teen readers. Definately required reading for those who have or have had braces. I think it would be great if all Orthodentists had a copy of this in their offices -- and a few of them REALLY should read it (They might even learn how to be a little more sympathetic with their patients). The underlying message of encouraging us to focus more on what we are on the inside rather than how we look on the outside is very sublty done and not at all preachy.
Rating: 10/10
Profile Image for Manybooks.
3,126 reviews104 followers
June 27, 2018
Touching, intensely personally relatable and while of course not as in-depth as I would have expected and needed in a non graphic novel, Raina Telgemeier's Smile has both hit the spot for me and brought forth many pleasant and sometimes also not so pleasant memories. For while I might not have experienced (and this thankfully) the kind of dental and orthodontial nightmares that Raina Telgemeier obviously had to endure as a young teenager, I can and do very much empathise and understand, as a very close school friend did in fact have to go through pretty much the same scenarios as Raina did (even having to deal with and face incompetence in the form of a supremely clueless dental technician who used much too little freezing on my friend's mouth before a painful extraction) and well, Raina's family dynamics actually in many ways do mirror my own (including having a younger sister with whom I have never managed to all that much emotionally and philosophically connect), not to mention the tried but true, painful learning experience and dictum that "with friends like this one does not really need enemies" namely that bullying and teasing from one's supposed friends and companions is not healthy and not something to accept and swallow as though nothing untoward had occurred (an evocatively lovely even if sometimes chafing with regard to personal and not all that enjoyable remembrances reading experience is Smile, but really the pain is almost as exquisite as the pleasure, and perhaps even more heartfelt and authentic).

Four stars (rounded up to a full five stars, as I have indeed very much enjoyed if not loved both narrative and illustrations and been really and truly touched by Raina Telgemeier's delightfully frank openness, and heck, as a person of German extraction and language instructor, I cannot help but wax poetic about the scene where Raina is obviously taking German at school and that the relevant illustrations actually have ALL of the German language words spelled with no grammar or orthographical mistakes).
9 reviews4 followers
February 2, 2012
Smile by Raina Telgemeier is a realistic fiction graphic novel. It is a true story about the author herself. It was nominated for a Red Dot Award in 2011-2012.

It tells the story of Raina's life from middle school to high school. You might think that a book just about middle school and high school is boring but not when the unexpected happens. In this book, it's when Raina falls down one day as she is running back home when her two front teeth fall out as they smash against the ground. From braces to headgear to even root canals, Raina tells us how she survives school.

I think this a really good and interesting book. It's good because many of us middle school girls can relate to it. I felt I could relate to it because I have braces right now and I know how that experience is.

It also keeps you engaged making you want to read the whole book in one day. Once you start this book, there's no stopping. The events keep hooking you because event after event there are interesting things.

Raina illustrates and describes the scenes really well because you can actually step into the character's shoes and start to live their life and see how they feel about things. I feel even though this is a comic book, the imagery is very good because you can dream about yourself in that situation.

I would probably recommend this to middle school girls as it's mostly a girl book and they type of situations are what we can relate to in real life. It's also quite easy to understand and easy to follow the story.
Profile Image for Briar's Reviews.
1,828 reviews507 followers
March 23, 2020
Smile by Raina Telgemeier is a story that totally connected with me in ways other books couldn't. Raina's story echoes a lot of my own, and it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to see a story like this get shared. Many kids will face dental issues and bullying, so a book like this could do wonders for them!

I saw this book years ago and wanted to pick it up but never did. Recently, I found it at a local book store on sale and decided this was the time for me to grab it. I also just wanted some more cute graphic novels in my life, so that helped a lot.

I was honestly surprised how addicting and easy to read this book was. Yes, middle grade books tend to be easier for adults to read, but I found myself sinking into the story and not being able to get out. I related to it so much and I could totally feel for Raina. Middle school and high school are hard, especially when going through the pain of braces and surgeries (I for one, can attest to that).

Some of the major positives of this book are as follows:
1. Raina shares a personal stories that many people can relate to. This story will hit many readers in ways they don't realize.

2. The illustrations in this book was fun and colourful and kept me hooked to the story.

3. The story was fast, easy to read, and quite fun (despite all the pain Raina was going through).

4. Raina standing up to her bullies was a serious "high-five" moment for me. Go Raina! You do you, girl!

5. There's lots of little references to my own childhood in this book, so I can totally see adults digging this book along with their kids. Seriously, this book can be read by "all ages". It's a great read!

1. I didn't realize this book was a memoir at first. I'm not sure if it was obvious or if I just missed it. That's literally the only negative I can find. This book is great!

In all honesty, I love this book. I would definitely recommend readers pick this book up for a little fun and a lot of nostalgia. Who doesn't forget those dreaded dentist appointments? Or if you were lucky enough to have braces, the craziness of those appointments!

I will 100% be picking up any more books by Raina Telgemeier that I come across.

Five out of five stars!
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,662 reviews5,144 followers
August 8, 2019
Aww, this was so cute. I can definitely see now why so many people LOVE Raina Telgemeier's work! The art is super sweet and pretty and the story is fun and lighthearted, while still offering great lessons — and something kids can relate to so they don't feel so alone, whether it's about braces, mean "friends", or unrequited puppy love.
Profile Image for Reading_ Tamishly.
4,297 reviews2,291 followers
May 27, 2021
"Weird... something happens when you smile at people."

"They smile back!!"

*Loving her graphic novels so much!

If at all, you're looking for some awesome graphic novels to start with, just go for Raina Telgemeier's books. Omg! Graphic novels aren't this good when it comes to graphic novels especially when it's middle grade ones. Of course, they are unique and different from one another but, it's Raina's work which are like 'perfect' to me.

*The story:

Raina is having all kinds of worries when it comes to growing up 'normal' and becoming someone who would be attractive to everyone, especially the cool guy she has a crush on. Influenced by her group of friends, she tries her best to look good on the outside and is always on a rollercoaster ride everyday trying to improve on her looks.

And guess what? 80 percent of this graphic novel deals with dental appointments to fix her front teeth when they got misplaced somehow because of an accident at school.

It's funny to read but also you will feel all kinds of pain reading this story how you would feel when your dentist does things to your teeth. Yes, the pain is real.

I like the second half so much!

I wish every kid comes to realise toxic friends and stands up for themselves, find new friends and bond over similar interests, focus on them and not be too self-absorbed and not become too self-conscious of their looks.

Such an amazing read!

And the illustrations?

Just hug every part of the graphic novel starting from the cover. Do you hear me?

Because I just did that while reading it.
Profile Image for kristen.
593 reviews14 followers
March 23, 2011
A graphic novel I picked up for my 6th grader who just got braces. She read it this afternoon from cover to cover, finished, then walked over to our computer to search for more books written by Telgemeier. I quickly read it myself and am glad I did! A relevant, fun, comic novel that touches on many of the awkward themes facing pre-teens. Hey, if reading it actually made my daughter SMILE, I guess you really CAN judge a book by its cover :-)
Profile Image for Tisha.
367 reviews891 followers
September 28, 2017
Want to know what can possibly go wrong if you accidentally knock out your teeth? Just read this graphic novel and you will get a whole picture of that situation. GOD! Although I laughed a lot, I felt bad for the writer as it was a memoir!

It was a cute little book with nice illustrations for some light read. Looking forward to read the next one.

P.S. I did not know there are so many types of dentists! :v
Profile Image for Jessica Griggs.
16 reviews
February 5, 2012
At first, I didn't know what to expect from this book. When I got it, I opened it up and immediately saw pictures. Like the little kid that I am (a 13 yr old girl in a 21 yr old woman's body), I was immediately excited and ready to start. One of my favorite comic book/series is Calvin and Hobbes, so I was very eager to see what this book held between its pages. I was still curious, because I knew Smile held a different weight and focus than Calvin and Hobbes. I was not sure how a book full of pictures that make up one long comic strip could hold somewhat of the same ground as a non-graphic novel; until I realized that I had just finished possibly the funniest and touching book in about an hour and a half. I couldn't put it down, nor did I want to. What made it even better is the fact that this book is actually based off a true story and it actually happened.

As a student, I felt every part of Raina's story. Since I went through the trial and error of braces, and even underwent the torturous and numerous variety of doctor visits, I completely sympathized with her. Other than her "vampire teeth", we pretty much had the same school life, which made her story completely relate-able. The only thing we didn't share was the earthquake experience. As I turned the pages, I found that I wasn't just reading a story about Raina, but about myself. I was watching me crush on two different boys, fighting with my sister, playing video games and being crushed by my "friends". I saw myself blossom from awkward middle schooler to high school/college student, through Raina. Honestly, I was laughing the whole time I read this book, between the exaggerated pictures and expressions to the language. I also laughed because I completely understood what she was going through, and as I made the journey with her, I was also laughing at a past me.

As a teacher, without a doubt, I would teach this book. It would be a great seg-way between middle and high school. Also, students would be more inclined to read this book and understand it since they can see the words and the pictures together, almost like a still movie and the remote to go to the next scene is just them turning the page. Like myself, this book is also extremely relate-able. Students will want to read this book and they will connect with it more since it will be a lot of what they are going through, particularly the girls. This will be a definite addition to my in-class library as well!

There is no doubt that I will be using this book in the future, and re-reading it in the near future as well. I also have a younger sister, and for a fact, she will be reading this book, especially if she goes into braces. I feel that this book helps make growing up a little less scary and a little more clear and realistic.
Profile Image for Drew.
449 reviews504 followers
September 26, 2016

This was a pretty darn cute graphic novel about eleven year old Raina who gets her teeth knocked out in an accident.

It's not just about Raina getting braces and coming to accept her new smile, though - it follows her through middle school, as she makes new friends and gets crushes on boys and worries if she looks "cool" enough.

There are so many fantasy and superhero comics, but it was a nice change to read a coming of age one focusing on a girl in middle school. The target audience is quite obviously young girls (around age 10 to 14, I'd say), and though I was a little too old for it, I still thought it was really sweet.

I loved that it focused on themes of family and friendship. Raina's parents were loving and supportive and Raina was part of a group of friends for a long time who constantly made fun of her. Eventually she realized the best thing to do was leave them and find new friends who accepted her for who she was.


I think I would have loved this when I was thirteen.
Profile Image for Josh.
390 reviews17 followers
July 1, 2012
I saw this book in the orthodontist's office while I was awaiting my appointment to be fitted with braces. It's ostensibly aimed at adolescent/teenage girls--which as an adult male, I am not--but in my vulnerable state of anxiety and meek submissiveness I thought the book still might be a source of comfort. Good news: it was! I got a library copy later to give it a more thorough reading, and really enjoyed it.

Raina goes through a whole lot more than I should ever have to. After an accident, she undergoes years of braces, headgear, sadistic periodontists, and associated teenage drama. I merely have to correct what my dentist calls "occlusal disharmony"--a misaligned bite that has steadily worn down many of my teeth into a state of fragility. And I don't have to do it as a teenager.

I could still relate. While I'm not the same age as Raina the book character, I *am* the same age as Raina the author. A small but important example: early on, she escaped bad days by playing Nintendo (one panel even has a lovingly re-created final screenshot from Super Mario Bros. 2). It's probably true for a huge percentage of Class of '95ers, but old school NES definitely makes me feel like I'm safe and happy at home. The larger point, made very effectively as Raina negotiates various dental and social trials, is that there are both important and unimportant influences on your happiness and self-esteem.
Profile Image for JohnnyBear.
169 reviews11 followers
December 22, 2022
7 out of 10

This book makes you want to brush your teeth. The dental aspects of this book are depicted in frightening detail. You are shown what dentists do to you, and how getting your teeth fixed can be painful and self-isolating in your social life. I don't really have strong positive or negative feelings about this book. This book is basically a short memoir of a period of Raina's life when she had dental problems.

Smile Book Cover

Very charming art style. Very re-readable. I really enjoyed this book. I think it depicts a lot of the struggles of having dental work/puberty/school, really well. Some of the illustrations are intentionally drawn to be more disturbing than they need to be, but overall it was a nice experience. Not bad at all.

Rubber Band
Profile Image for Lily - Books by Starlight.
433 reviews192 followers
April 29, 2022

Changing my rating from 3 to 4.5! This is a quick and light-hearted read. Would recommend!

««Recommended for...»»
☐ Reluctant/impatient readers
☐ Children grades 3-6
☐ Readers of graphic novels, middle grade, YA, and/or contemporary
☐ Someone wanting to get out of a reading slump
Profile Image for فاطمه خورشیدی.
41 reviews34 followers
January 18, 2021
کیفیت چاپ و ترجمه مثل همه کارهای دیگر نشر اطراف عالیه، خوش‌خوانه و سرگرم‌کننده. من چون چند روزه دندون‌درد داشتم رفتم سراغش :دی اما نکته قابل توجه کتاب که باعث میشه دوست داشته باشم نوجوان‌ها بخواننش همون صفحات آخره: اینکه چقدر اجازه میدن ظاهرشون روی حال و هواشون اثر بذاره و کی زورشون می‌رسه جلوی bullyهایی که میشن قد علم کنن. یه لحظاتی هم خدا رو برای اینکه چنین مصائب دردناکی رو پشت سر نذاشتم و همین دندون‌درد معمولی رو دارم شکر کردم. دلم برای مامانش می‌سوخت که در اثر یه اتفاق باید انقدر درد کشیدن بچه‌ش رو تحمل می‌کرد و با دست خودش این بچه رو می‌فرستاد زیر دست دندون‌پزشک.
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