Saturday, July 21, 2012

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

I always loved reading the children's books nominated for awards in the states where I lived. This book won the Iowa award this year.

Winner:    Iowa Children’s Choice Award, 2011-2012
                  (it also won awards in other states including Maine and Vermont)

Smile is a graphic novel chronicling the life of Raina as she goes through middle school and into high school. She experiences good friends and not-so-good friends, orthodontics with serious complications, siblings, crushes, major and minor embarrassments, and even an earthquake. Through it all, can Raina “Smile?”

I don’t have much experience with graphic novels, so it took a bit for me to get into that format. Once I did, Smile was quick, easy, and fun to read. It seemed like a sort of stream of consciousness style of writing, but managed to masterfully work in all kinds of important themes. The main character and author share the same name, so I’m not sure if this is meant to be a memoir of sorts—it certainly has many characteristics of middle/high school that I remember.

I can see graphic novels being really appealing to young adult readers and with a story that’s easy to relate to, I’m not surprised at all that Smile won multiple awards. I certainly recommend it!

In what format would you create a memoir? What do you most remember about middle/high school?   

1 comment:

  1. I survived middle school, in the sense that I was part of a cool group, but that didn't mean we didn't have our own dramas. High school was a bit more fun since we (my class) did a ton of fun things, and we were known as the fun grade :) But even then, I didn't develop true friendships. We hung out at lunch and such as well as our extra curricular activities, but we didn't really hang out on our off times.

    All of my best friends I met in college, so those were really my best years, but thankfully middle or high school weren't all that bad either!