Smile

Raina Telgemeier, Author, Stephanie Yue, Illustrator . Scholastic/Graphix $21.99 (213p) ISBN 978-0-545-13205-3 ISBN 978-0-545-13206-0

A charming addition to the body of young adult literature that focuses on the trials and tribulations of the slightly nerdy girl. Telgemeier's autobiographical tale follows her from sixth grade, when her two front teeth are knocked out during a fluke accident, through high school, when, her teeth repaired, she bids good-bye to her childhood dentist. Like heroines stretching from Madeleine L'Engle's Vicky Austin through Judy Blume's Margaret to Mariko and Jillian Tamaki's Skim, Raina must navigate the confusing world of adolescence while keeping her sense of self intact. Many of her experiences are familiar, from unrequited crushes to betrayals by friends to embarrassing fashion choices. The dramatic story of her teeth, however, adds a fresh twist, as does her family's experience during the San Francisco earthquake in 1989. Although the ending is slightly pedantic, Telgemeier thoughtfully depicts her simultaneous feelings of exasperation and love toward her parents, as well as her joy at developing her artistic talent—she's deft at illustrating her characters' emotions in a dynamic, playful style. This book should appeal to tweens looking for a story that reflects their fears and experiences and gives them hope that things get easier. Ages 9–13. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 12/07/2009
Release date: 02/01/2010
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FORMATS
Prebound-Glued - 224 pages - 978-0-606-14082-9
Paperback - 213 pages - 978-0-545-13206-0
Prebound-Glued - 213 pages - 978-1-60686-896-6
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