Friday, May 13, 2011

Smile, by Raina Telgemeier (nonfiction) - braces, school, yikes!

Junior high!
More braces!
High school!

I'll bet that Raina felt like lots of her days as a teen were Friday the thirteenths, as this autobiographical graphic novel shows. I've met her at conferences, and she's funny and cool and excited about new projects.

And her husband, Dave Roman, is a cartoonist/author, too! He proposed to her using a webcomic!

Book info: Smile / by Raina Telgemeier. Graphix (Scholastic), 2010. [author's website] [publisher site]

Recommendation: A graphic novel about friends, family, boys, girls, and major dental drama! Autobiography in comic style – with braces! When Raina knocks out her 2 front teeth in sixth grade, getting braces doesn’t seem so bad. But her teeth won’t reset right, so it’s on to root canal surgery and a retainer with false front teeth and headgear to wear at night! Getting her ears pierced for her birthday makes things a little better; having a bratty little sister who teases her… well, Amara’s always like that.

Seventh grade gets interesting, with cute boys and the big San Francisco earthquake of 1989 and more dental surgery (braces and headgear – again!). Raina wonders why some friends don’t stay friendly and why some boys aren’t friendly enough. She decides to try out for the basketball team in eighth grade (teeth-moving still in progress), enjoys being a Girl Scout camp counselor in the summer, and worries about going to high school.

So what will life in high school be like, with new friends and old friends, new classes and old heartaches, and her still in braces? Raina illustrates her own story with humor and style, as we walk with her through junior high and high school, with the next orthodontist’s appointment always on her mom’s calendar. (one of 5,000 books recommended on Review copy  and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

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