Review posted March 2, 2011.
Graphix (Scholastic), New York, 2010. 214 pages.
Smile is a graphic memoir -- graphic meaning the comic-book format, with no reflection at all on the content.
In this book, the author tells the true story of the awful saga with her teeth when she was in middle school. Just when she was ready to get braces, she had an accident and knocked out one front tooth and jammed the other into her jaw. The dentists and orthodontists made heroic attempts to fix and straighten those teeth, and this book tells vividly, with a nice sense of humor, the long involved process.
Of course, just telling about teeth wouldn't be interesting. But Raina Telgemeier puts in the story of finding her place in middle school and finding out who her true friends were. In middle school, no kid wants to stand out, but Raina's smile alone made her look different.
This book will draw kids to pick it up and read it to the end. The vivid pictures draw you in, and you'll find a certain fascination with all she had to go through. Ultimately, she learns to face life with a smile!