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Staff Recommendations

Smile

By: Raina Telgemeier

Life is complicated enough for middle-schooler Raina before she gets hurt and needs advanced dental surgery. This incredibly relatable autobiographical graphic novel chronicles the tumultuous years of Raina's junior high, focusing especially on her dental difficulties, but also touching on the everyday challenges of becoming a teenager.  Smile is an excellent example of how the graphic novel medium can be more than the sum of its parts, with the text and images working together in the "show don't tell" style. Catty dialogue of pre-teen girls show their true characters rather than outright labeling them bad friends. There are no tiresome descriptions of feelings, as the expressive illustrations convey it all without words. Kids, tweens, and teens alike will find something they can relate to, whether it's friendship challenges, crushes, or the physical and emotional pain of braces.  This book is highly recommended for upper elementary and middle school readers. Boys and girls alike will sympathize with the heart-filled story and be drawn in by the welcoming art. 

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