“Smile” and “Sisters” by Raina Telgemaier

smile sisters

I read Raina Telgemaier’s second book, Drama, before I read her first, the comic-book memoir Smile. I liked Drama, but didn’t love, and figured I’d check out Smile at my leisure.

In the comic shop a few weeks ago, they had a box set of Smile plus Telgemaier’s new book, Sisters. I hemmed and hawed about buying them. You know the drill–not supposed to spend money, not supposed to buy more books, not sure I’ll like them, blah, blah, blah. Then, to absolutely no one’s surprise, I bought them.

To MY surprise, however, I was not the first one to read them. 11yo Drake and 8yo Guppy tore into them as soon as we got into the car, then traded, then re-read them. I’d bought them for me, hoping the boys might, maybe, be interested in these books even if they were about girls. Both boys had read both books multiple times by the time I got to them.

And they’re just lovely. Smile is the story of Raina’s childhood accident when she loses her two front permanent teeth, and has to navigate dentral trauma and drama in her early teens. Sisters is another window that focuses on her relationship with her younger sister Amara, and a cross-country car trip in a van.

The art is well done and accessible, the stories and emotions full of stuff to relate to. It was a joy to visit Raina’s childhood both times, even when it was difficult and sad.

A few days later, one of Drake’s friends down the street borrowed the books, then returned them. Apparently his mom and older brother had also read and enjoyed them in the meantime.

I’m not sure I’ve ever bought books that were so loved by so many, so quickly! A definite win.

5 Responses to ““Smile” and “Sisters” by Raina Telgemaier”

  1. carolyn Says:

    yeah my classroom copies of Smile are worn to shreds and the two copies of Sisters I bought have been checked out ever since school started.

    one student last year just read Smile over and over and over again, it was every other book she read all year long.

  2. Janet Says:

    It’s a small book world. I work in a school library and a student brought in her copy of Sisters. She wanted me to check to see if there was an AR test for it. OF course students can’t read just to read for fun, it’s all about the test! The test hasn’t been released yet but hoping soon. I’m sure once it’s test-worthy, the rest of the kids will eat it up!

  3. girldetective Says:

    These obviously make connections with kids!

  4. sm Says:

    (would/should have posted this under blog-a-versary b/c i DO enjoy your posts even if i only binge-read them bi-monthly, then put WAY too many books on holds at the library, renew, renew, still can’t get thru them all, repeat)

    ‘lit’ is what comes to mind as the last book you recommended but i may be an order freak too - i put ‘we were liars’ on hold as well :)

    i, too, came to ‘cloud atlas’ a tad late (after hearing 3 recommendations but before the movie came out) - the stories were like those nesting russian dolls. i’ve never read such a creative piece - using different countries & time periods and using different writing styles that would be compatible to the time period - this author manages to pull all these stand-alone stories into a cohesive narrative.

    in the photo of your TRB - i saw you’ve got ‘world made by hand’ - but i could have sworn i read that one based on something you wrote here? (i didn’t care for it - so predictable, and plot points so convenient)
    also i also saw ‘where’d you go Bernadette’ and I’m certain got that title from here… (and loved it, btw).

    but hearing you praise dune may be my undoing :) hubby has been at me to read it for 20 years and all i do is make fun of the movie when provoked. now I’m going to have to genuinely put in on my TBR list. egads!

  5. girldetective Says:

    SM, the book Dune is way better than the movie, and stands the test of time, so I do recommend it. Also useful is getting the husband’s nagging out of the way! I do have World Made by Hand on the pile, as the publicist sent me all three books since the third in the trilogy was just published. I had a fair number off issues with it, but it was good enough, and I like his environmental take enough, to give them another shot. Bernadette was another re-read for a book group. Loved it all over again.