The graphic novels of Raina Telgemeier

As she enters her teens, Raina falls over and knocks out her front teeth. Smile is a graphic novel that charts her progress through orthodontic correction, and how her (minor, temporary) cosmetic impairment alters her social life and emotional development.  I was concerned that the technology she mentions has been surpassed but, “invisible’ braces aside, it is apparently still relevant to children facing similar procedures. Her story has a lot of heart and I recommend it to a broad audience. I flag it particularly for children facing orthodontic correction. The Library Service has this in physical and electronic formats.

The sequel, Sisters, didn’t seem as well written, but it may be that, as a male with no sisters, the core relationship was alien to me. I sensed there were deeper elements in the book which went unaddressed. They presumably pay out in a third book in the series. I think Sisters is stronger if you are already emotionally attached to Raina, and so I’d suggest starting with Smile.

The other graphic novel by the author is called Drama.  I thought it was part of this series, but it’s a separate fiction. Recommended for people who liked Smile, but not as strong as the first book.