Smile is the story of the woman behind the graphic rendition of The Babysitters Club, Raina Telgemeier.
This sweet coming of age story revolves around the elaborate procedures to fix Raina’s smile. Over the course of two years (and many dental procedures) Raina crosses the threshold of puberty while dealing with crushes, peer group struggles, and the 1989 San Francisco earthquake. Telgemeier’s illustrations are a delight to the eye, her character’s expressions can carry the story alone. Just the right amount of humor counters the often painful details of Raina’s dental work.
As an adult reading this book, it was difficult not to relive the pangs of adolescence in the early 1990’s. By the end I was rooting for her bravery and strength, especially when she establishes supportive friendships. I only wish that I had read a book like this to read when I was growing up.
It is no wonder that Smile was selected as an ALA 2011 Top Ten Great Graphic Novel for teens!
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