Smile

by Raina Telgemeier

When sixth-grader Raina falls and severely damages her two front teeth, a series... read more

When sixth-grader Raina falls and severely damages her two front teeth, a series of painful and sometimes experimental dental procedures follows over the course of the next several years. Through middle school and into high school, Raina endures braces, headgear, retainers, and root canals, before finally obtaining false front teeth, all with the aim to obtain a perfect smile. But teeth aren’t all Raina is concerned with—as a growing teenager, she’s trying to find her niche with friends who don’t always accept her, crushing on boys at school, surviving an earthquake in her city, San Francisco, and feeding her passion for art. Raina Telgemeier’s colorful and clean design makes this a highly appealing and accessible graphic novel memoir. The events and relationships presented, based on the author’s own experiences during the late 1980s and early 1990s, make an honest and compelling story. Through optimism, humor, and a supportive family, Raina grows into a confident young adult who loves herself enough to smile and really mean it. (Ages 10–14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2011

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