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Smile Paperback – February 1, 2010
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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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.
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.
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Consider (references and language from the book itself):
- a young girl subjected to years of teasing, who didn't "get the guy"
- discussions about kissing
- "kinda sorta having boyfriends"
- "guys" and a game of Spin the Bottle
- a pair of girls pulling down another girl's skirt so that she suffers public "humiliation"
The descriptions and vocabulary are taken directly from the book.
Although there are many parents who would not find this material offensive, we believe that just because this type of subject matter is available on TV does not make it right. Someone somewhere has to make a stand and deliver wholesome materials to our children, with positive role modeling and examples of appropriate social behavior, and good judgment.
When discussed with the school principal, he pointed out that the book was published by Scholastic, as though that makes it right. I pointed out that Scholastic is in the business of selling books; might not the perspective be skewed?
Decide for yourself.
I've been told that I should hold my opinions for my "church newsletter" and that another poster will tell everyone to "ignore" my opinion, while still others state that "bullying happens."
For my part, I've never been of the opinion that just because something is, we are powerless to change a situation. Simply accepting the status quo does not address the fact that so many of our young children are either victims of suicide or experiencing teenage pregnancy.
Although my opinion is counter that of so many, it doesn't minimize it. I suggested people decide for themselves, yet others seem more concerned about suppressing my opinion.
I affirm that this book is best read with a parent, not found as a child's selection from a public school library without proper context and explanation.