Tuesday, June 1, 2010


I am amassing a good collection of coming of age novels for the seventh grade set. Like the protagonist of Twelve, Raina Telgemeier is having a hard time while growing up. The autobiographical graphic novel begins with Raina falling down and knocking out her front teeth. During her subsequent middle and high school years, Raina suffers through many painful dental surgeries. On top of this physical pain, she endures the emotional stress of false friends, first crushes, and puberty.

I read Smile during reading workshop today and already have a list of students who will love it. My kids love graphic novels and the reassurance that their awkward adolescent moments are commonplace. I liked that Raina's family is supportive and realistic, also that her life didn't end because she realized her friends are jerks. Smile is a great addition to any middle school library; I will be checking out Telgemeier's graphic versions of The Babysitters Club series as well.

Note: I received this book through Presenting Lenore's International Book Blogger Mentor Program. I am so lucky!

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