Friday, August 27, 2010

Hang in There: Booktalk 1

Most of you have tripped and fallen at some point, right? When our author, Raina Telgemeier, was in sixth grade, she fell and tripped, knocking out her two front teeth. Only, it wasn’t that simple. She hurt the bone above her teeth, and did some pretty serious damage which required multiple surgeries. This caused her to miss a fair amount of school, and she spent a lot of time in pain and unable to eat. But notice the title and the cover: it’s Smile.

In spite of its painful subject matter, Smile is a funny and thoughtful book. Raina has the normal problems of a pre-teenager: at one point, she’s writing a note to her friend about a boy she likes, and her teacher intercepts it, and the whole class finds out who she has a crush on. But there are also times when she’s so worried about her surgeries that she can’t focus on school, and her grades suffer. She gets teased more than most kids do because of her teeth. Yet Raina is a cool, kind-hearted, brave girl, and Smile tells a great story. Smile by Raina Telgemeier.

Smile by Raina Telgemeier. Graphic novel: 213 p. Scholastic, 2010. Booktalk to elementary [3rd-5th] and middle school.

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