When Scholastic released Raina Telgemeier's Smile in their Graphix imprint in February 2010, it's unlikely they had an inkling of what a juggernaut the book would become. Since its debut, the memoir has won multiple awards and accolades, hitting #1 on the New York Times bestsellers list and retaining a place on the list to this day, over 104 weeks on. Telgemeier's unprecedented success with Smile— which now has over a million copies in print—has been all the more remarkable when taking into account that it is a stand-alone graphic novel, geared towards a younger demographic, one that traditionally is not viewed as very receptive to the comics market.
In 2012, she released Drama, which also went on to become a New York Times bestseller, but it is her next book which is even more hugely anticipated, and poised to break records: a direct follow-up to the biographical Smile. Scholastic has ordered a 200,000 print run for Sisters, which comes out on August 26th.
Sisters once again sees Telgemeier return to her childhood, this time charting her relationship with her younger sister, Amara, over the course of a family road trip to Colorado. As a young child, Raina is excited to learn she's going to be a big sister, but upon Amara's arrival she finds things are rather different from what she envisioned: as cute as she is, Amara's also cranky and generally prefers to play by herself. That sets the pattern for the sisters relationship as they grow up, although things begin to change once a baby brother enters the picture, and yet again when they sense that something isn't quite right between their parents.
An integral component of Telegmeier's success has been the manner in which her work engages a younger audience: honest, funny and respectful. Her recollection of life as a young teen and the nature of the problems encountered and depictions of relationships remain fresh and relevant, as she splices together the present day and flashbacks to tell what is certain to be another hit story.