Guts

by Raina Telgemeier

Intestinal issues for young Raina are both the effect of ongoing anxiety, and the... read more

Intestinal issues for young Raina are both the effect of ongoing anxiety, and the cause of further worry as she navigates fifth grade, friendships, and a vivid, visceral fear of throwing up. The doctor proclaims her healthy, so why does her tummy keep having trouble? And why does it sometimes feel like the other girls at school belong to a secret club she knows nothing about? Eventually, she’s given a diagnosis of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), but for Raina the diagnosis matters less than learning to manage her thoughts, feelings and fears, whatever the physical cause of symptoms that she can’t imagine telling her friends and classmates about. Through sessions with a therapist, she learns coping mechanisms for her anxiety, from deep breathing to ground herself to taking steps toward being able to talk more openly about the things that scare her, in this forthright graphic novel memoir that never loses its sense of humor. No doubt many readers will find its honest look at Raina’s anxiety as comforting as the hopeful, upbeat outcome. (Ages 8–12)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2020

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