Sunday, December 9, 2012

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

Raina is a happy go lucky 6th grader. One night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls and injures her mouth when she lands on her front teeth, pushing them into her gums. This begins an orthodontic journey that lasts for years as Raina has surgery, then head gear, a retainer with two fake front teeth and braces.

Middle school is hard enough without the trauma of a painful mouth accident that puts Raina in braces twice as long as everyone else.  Raina details her story though colorful drawings that highlight her dramatic experiences growing up.  Besides braces, her girlfriends are kinda mean, she meets a couple of cute boys, lives through an earthquake and slowly begins to find a place where she feels accepted, then she starts high school.

Smile is Raina Telgemeier's first graphic novel and I expect she will be around creating beautiful books for a long time.  Smile is visually appealing and just about any kid who has had braces can relate to Raina's experiences. Smile is one of my daughter's favorite books and she is the one who told me that I had to read it.  She donated a copy to her teacher and the book is being read by every sixth grader in her class. 

Be prepared to be drawn into a heartwarming, funny story about a girl and her teeth.  Smile will remind you of your time in braces and if you are new to the experience of orthodontia it will make a worthwhile read.  In fact I recommend it to every teen who is undergoing the experience of braces.  Having braces is becoming a right of passage and Smile is the book to read when your teeth are feeling sore and you can't sleep because your rubber bands keep flying across your bedroom.

Smile, it's worth it!