In this companion to Telgemeier’s Smile, the graphic artist writes about her relationship with her younger sister, Amara, using a summer cross-country trip as narrative scaffolding as she examines the contrast between her childhood wish for a sister and life with a sibling she often can’t fathom—although Amara seems to have uncanny insight into her. “You ever feel like you just don’t fit in?” Raina asks Amara at a family gathering full of contemptuous teenage cousins. “All the time,” Amara replies. “The difference between you and me is, I don’t care.” Like Smile, it’s an alternately poignant and laugh-out-loud funny account of pre-adolescence whose episodes range from small crimes (Raina lying to Amara so she doesn’t have to share her art supplies) to acute crises (Amara’s pet snake Mango on the loose in the family’s VW Microbus). Underneath the immediate problems lies poignant uncertainty about the state of their parents’ marriage. Though the artwork draws little attention to itself, Telgemeier’s visual storytelling skills are well-honed, and readers will be left wishing for more. Ages 8–12. Agent: Judith Hansen, Hansen Literary Agency. (Aug.)■
Reviewed on: 05/26/2014 Release date: 08/26/2014 Genre: Children's
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