Thursday, May 5, 2011

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

SmileSmile
Raina Telgemeier
Raina just wants to get through sixth grade.  Then one night she trips and smacks her front teeth into the pavement.  Now, Raina has to deal with a succession of crazy dentistry drama on top of the everyday confusions that seem to come with growing up.  


Delightful-that's my gut one-word description of this great graphic novel.  Based on her own experiences, Telgemeier's story will resonate with a lot of young readers; it's  both funny and painful-like any heartfelt and honest recollection of middle school must be.  Raina's thoughts, worries, and reactions will be very familiar to any other middle schooler; she is a spunky but reassuringly average protagonist.  The illustration style fits the characters and the age group.  Telgemeier uses clean lines and bright colors; the characters' figures and faces clearly express a range of emotions, supporting the story's focus on Raina's feelings and personal experiences.  


Smile has been one of my first forays into the graphic novel genre and it definitely made a very positive impact. Its subject and style could attract a range of readers, including some that might normally be less likely to pick up a graphic novel.  Also, Smile is great example of the diversity within the graphic novel genre now; it doesn't fit into the stereotype of a comic book that springs to mind for many adults, and some teens, when you say 'graphic novel.'  


Overall, Smile is delightful graphic novel with wide-spread appeal for a variety of teens sixth grade and up.  


5/5 STARS

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