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.