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Smile Paperback – February 1, 2010


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Frequently Bought Together

Smile + Sisters + Drama
Price for all three: $19.42

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  • Sisters $6.29
  • Drama $6.04

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 410L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Graphix (February 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545132061
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545132060
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (151 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,695 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5 Up-Sixth-grader Raina falls and severely damages her two front teeth. Through middle school and into high school, she struggles with peer relationships, discovering her own strengths while enduring painful orthodontia. The concluding pages reveal a self-assured high school student who can indeed smile. Full-color comic panels perfectly capture young adolescence.α(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

The dental case that Telgemeier documents in this graphic memoir was extreme: a random accident led to front tooth loss when she was 12, and over the next several years, she suffered through surgery, implants, headgear, false teeth, and a rearrangement of her remaining incisors. Accompanying the physical treatment came social rough spots with friends, while puberty delivered another set of curveballs with crushes, maturing bodies, and changing family expectations and judgments. Both adults and kids—including various dental professionals and younger siblings—are vividly and rapidly portrayed, giving quick access to the memoirist’s world. Telgemeier’s storytelling and full-color cartoony images form a story that will cheer and inspire any middle-schooler dealing with orthodontia. At the same time, she shows how her early career choice as an animator took root during this difficult period—offering yet another gentle reminder that things have turned out fine for the author and can for her reader as well. Grades 5-8. --Francisca Goldsmith --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Raina Telgemeier is the author and illustrator of the graphic novels Smile and Drama, both #1 New York Times bestsellers. She also adapted and illustrated four graphic novel versions of Ann M. Martin's Baby-sitters Club series, and has contributed short stories to many anthologies. Raina's accolades include an Eisner Award, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, a Stonewall Honor, and many Best Of and Notable lists. Raina lives and works in Queens, NY, with her cartoonist husband, Dave Roman.

Visit her online at www.goRaina.com.

Customer Reviews

And I LOVE how it's a true story!!
Caitlin
Smile is visually appealing and just about any kid who has had braces can relate to Raina's experiences.
Laura Booksnob
My daughter loved this book and read it in one sitting.
Anne C. Jordan-baker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Kramer Bussel VINE VOICE on February 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
Smile starts with Raina as a typical pre-teen...until she falls and her two front teeth fall out. She's not only in major pain, but scared, and her trip to the dentist doesn't yield the greatest news; they can put the one tooth they found back in but the other is stuck up in her gums, but she'll have to wear braces. Turns out, there was bone damage, and she endures the braces only to find that her teeth wind up embedded in her gums, leaving her feeling like she's a freak.

Her so-called friends don't help, with their perpetual teasing, but Raina adjusts to being a "brace-face" and weathers typical teenage crushes. As she moves on to a new high school, her friends keep on teasing her and playing pranks, until she finally decides she can seek out new friends who accept as she is.

It's hard not to wince at some of the tooth trials, but Raina is a trooper as she toughs out numerous orthodontist and endodondist and other "dontist" appointments, all rendered in Telgemeier's wonderful drawing style, which complements her story perfectly.

The book ends happily, with a big, toothy smile, and Raina learning that she can find friends who stick by her and don't make fun of her.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Penny for your Thought on February 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
I got this book at a Scholastic book fair last month and thought that the comic-book style would be great for my students. I wanted to read the book beforehand and fell in love with the art work and the storyline. It brought back so many memories from my middle school days. Raina is amazing! I've decided to purchase her Babysitters Club books as well!
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By R. Gilmore on February 5, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My 12-year-old daughter is a big (read: BIG) fan of Raina Telgemeier's graphic-novel adaptations of 'The Babysitter's Club' books. I pre-ordered 'Smile' with the anticipation of giving this to her as a gift. The book fell out of the shipping box, and I couldn't help but peruse its pages. It made me recall the days when I was subjected to the torments of wearing braces as a teenager. Upon skimming through the book, it was clear that this graphic novel was special. It beautifully captures that period in a teen's life when social-awkwardness and orthodontic-care collide, causing emotional and physical trauma.

Telgemeier is a true talent, and confidently displays a skill with her artistic tools that I haven't seen since the heyday of "For Better or for Worse". In fact, the author credits Lynn Johnston as an influence...

It shows.

There is a deft power to Telgemeier's narrative -- there are times when it's a little heartbreaking to read -- going to junior-high school can (at times) be hard. The author does not sugarcoat, and creates a satisfying world for her characters to exist in.
I can't recommend 'Smile' enough. It's heartfelt and funny and perfect for anyone, whether they wear braces or not.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lois Lane on March 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this book for my little sister as a gift when she got her braces off! She loved it! And whats more...since its a TRUE story...she felt like she could relate to Raina (the main character) quite often.

The drawings are exquisite, and the story line is like that of a comic book that's G-rated.

I'd recommend it for young girls 5-9th grade, though, i quite enjoyed it myself being an adult. It's a great little jewel in our library. :)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sarah McIntyre on March 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
Raina Telgemeier taps right into the most amusing and painful memories of being a teenager with her graphic novel about her experience of getting braces, having crushes on boys and being traumatised by rude siblings and catty girlfriends. And an earthquake.

Readers may recognise her artwork from her adaptations of Ann M. Martin's Baby-Siters Club series and will admire her clean, expressive linework and beautiful page layouts. I also admired the striking scenes of San Francisco landscapes and Californian architecture at the beginnings of chapters, where Stephanie Yue's colouring looked its best.
I had fun spotting subtle cultural references from my own childhood, such as Super Mario Brothers, Guess Jeans, New Kids on the Block, and heart-shaped boxes of chocolate from Walgreen Drug with the price tag accidentally left on. And I share with the author a childhood love of some of the same comics, including Calvin & Hobbes and For Better of For Worse.

I wish this book had been around when I was a teenager in braces, I would have curled up with it instantly. And when I was finished, I would have wanted to meet Raina and geek out together about drawing stories. Don't be surprised if kids read this and want to try their own hand at drawing and writing about their own most embarrassing moments, crushes and dental indignities.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Nicola Mansfield on December 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
Reason for Reading: This is a Cybils '10 nominee and required reading for me as a graphic novels panelist.

This is a graphic memoir that follows the author from grade six through her sophomore year of high school specifically focusing on her dental problems. In the 6th grade, just shortly before she is scheduled for braces for an overbite Raina trips and knocks out her 2 front teeth. A host of other problems follow as we watch Raina's dental nightmare over the next several years. During this time Raina is going through adolescence, her normal self-esteem issues at this age are multiplied by the extensive work she has done which includes a retainer with two false front teeth attached to it.

I loved this book. First the artwork is wonderful. Cartoony but so very expressive. The characters facial expressions almost tell the story by themselves. Set in the late eighties, there are lots of fun retro moments for adult readers in the background as one notices her watching 'Silver Spoons' on TV and they play an original 8-bit Nintendo system. The dental story is transfixing. I didn't wear braces myself, so that and all the extra problems of missing teeth and loss of bone, etc. was fascinating. Raina goes through this experience with pain and complaints but she is a happy child and can always see the bright side of things, eventually. Children going through/or about to will identify with Raina and feel for her while at the same time being thankful they only have to wear braces. This is also a story about growing up and it very nicely shows how Raina slowly notices over the years how she has become the butt of jokes in her group of friends and while no one is mean to her (on purpose) she's not exactly in healthy relationships friend-wise.
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