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4.6 138
by Raina Telgemeier

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From the artist of BSC Graphix comes this humorous coming-of-age true story about the dental drama that ensues after a trip-and-fall mishap.

Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. What follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces,


From the artist of BSC Graphix comes this humorous coming-of-age true story about the dental drama that ensues after a trip-and-fall mishap.

Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. What follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there's still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kathie M. Josephs
Anyone who has gone through middle school can attest that this is a most complicated time because of both physical and emotional changes. Being an adolescent is just plain hard. This is true even when everything goes right. However, in this autobiographical story there is one massive issue that Raina has to deal with that her friends do not and that is losing her two front teeth due to an accident. The comical yet thought-provoking autobiographical writing is compelling and very enjoyable. The problem is not just losing two teeth, but it is the many surgeries, very embarrassing headgear, and a temporary retainer that has false teeth that adds to Raina's misery in middle school. She is actually happy when she gets the retainer because she looks normal, but when it falls out in front of her friends she is mortified. When Christmas comes she is excited to see what her grandmother has sent her—it is a box of peanut brittle! Along with dealing with the teeth problem, she also has to adjust to having a crush, her family changing, and most of all, learning the hard lesson that friends are not always what they appear to be. This is a must read for any middle school girl. It is funny and touching, and the reader will be able to identify with the many feelings Raina has. The illustrations are wonderful and add much to the book. This would be a great gift to give to a child ready to head off to middle school but especially to a child heading for middle school that is having orthodontia work. Reviewer: Kathie M. Josephs
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up—When she was in sixth grade, Telgemeier tripped while running and lost her two front teeth. In the years that followed, she went through a torturous series of dental surgeries and repairs, the trauma of which was mirrored by the social struggles she experienced during her adolescence. A minor complaint is that there is no mention of when all of this took place, and readers may be puzzled by seeming anachronisms such as old-school Nintendo games. Telgemeier's full-color artwork is confident and light, and her storytelling is appropriately paced. This straightforward and entertaining autobiographical comic is sure to please.—Douglas P. Davey, Halton Hills Public Library, Ontario, Canada
Elizabeth Bird
There are comic-style books aimed at older teenagers on every conceivable subject, but Smile is unusual. It's a fictionalized memoir (some names and details have been changed), but also the equivalent of a Judy Blume novel: younger readers can turn to it for understanding and comfort. It hits home partly because there is nothing else out there like it.
—The New York Times
Dave Burbank and Karen MacPherson
…the real focus of Smile is Telgemeier's search for identity, a universal experience with which readers will readily identify. Her illustrations bear her trademark cartoonist touch, while the story's emotion is highlighted by the work of colorist Stephanie Yue.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
A charming addition to the body of young adult literature that focuses on the trials and tribulations of the slightly nerdy girl. Telgemeier's autobiographical tale follows her from sixth grade, when her two front teeth are knocked out during a fluke accident, through high school, when, her teeth repaired, she bids good-bye to her childhood dentist. Like heroines stretching from Madeleine L'Engle's Vicky Austin through Judy Blume's Margaret to Mariko and Jillian Tamaki's Skim, Raina must navigate the confusing world of adolescence while keeping her sense of self intact. Many of her experiences are familiar, from unrequited crushes to betrayals by friends to embarrassing fashion choices. The dramatic story of her teeth, however, adds a fresh twist, as does her family's experience during the San Francisco earthquake in 1989. Although the ending is slightly pedantic, Telgemeier thoughtfully depicts her simultaneous feelings of exasperation and love toward her parents, as well as her joy at developing her artistic talent—she's deft at illustrating her characters' emotions in a dynamic, playful style. This book should appeal to tweens looking for a story that reflects their fears and experiences and gives them hope that things get easier. Ages 9–13. (Feb.)
Kirkus Reviews
Telgemeier has created an utterly charming graphic memoir of tooth trauma, first crushes and fickle friends, sweetly reminiscent of Judy Blume's work. One night, Raina trips and falls after a Girl Scout meeting, knocking out her two front teeth. This leads to years of painful surgeries, braces, agonizing root canals and other oral atrocities. Her friends offer little solace through this trying ordeal, spending more of their time teasing than comforting her. After years of these girls' constant belittling, Raina branches out and finds her own voice and a new group of friends. Young girls will relate to her story, and her friend-angst is palpable. Readers should not overlook this seemingly simply drawn work; the strong writing and emotionally expressive characters add an unexpected layer of depth. As an afterword, the author includes a photo of her smiling, showing off the results of all of the years of pain she endured. Irresistible, funny and touching-a must read for all teenage girls, whether en-braced or not. (Graphic memoir. 12 & up)
From the Publisher

"I so enjoyed reading Smile, I couldn't put it down. It's excellent!" -- Lynn Johnston, creator of For Better or For Worse

"Raina perfectly captures the small, everyday surprises, dramas, and embarrassments that make up adolescence... A joy to read." -- Gene Yang, National Book Award Winner for American Born Chinese

"Irresistible, funny and touching."  -- Kirkus Reviews

"It hits home partly because there is nothing else out there like it." -- The New York Times Book Review

Library Journal
In a minor accident at age 12, Telgemeier lost two front teeth, not minor to remedy. Following came years of dental surgeries and orthodontics involving implants, false teeth, and headgear far beyond the more usual "braces." Treatment complications interacted with the complications of teenagerhood and puberty, which led to social as well as medical turmoil. Yet Telgemeier's early career choice as an animator grew out of this difficult period. With lively color art; an entertaining and helpful read for tweens and teens facing dental complexities of their own.

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Smile and Sisters Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)
GN410L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Raina Telgemeier grew up in San Francisco, then moved to New York City, where she earned an illustration degree at the School of Visual Arts. She is the creator of SMILE, a critically acclaimed graphic memoir based on her childhood, which was a NEW YORK TIMES bestseller and winner of the Will Eisner Award for Best Publication for Teens, and received a BOSTON GLOBE-HORN BOOK Honor. Raina also adapted and illustrated The Baby-sitters Club graphic novels, which were selected for YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens list and BOOKLIST’s Top 10 Graphic Novels for Youth list. Her new graphic novel for Scholastic is titled DRAMA. Raina lives in Astoria, New York, with her husband, Dave Roman. To learn more, visit her online at www.goRaina.com.

Customer Reviews

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Smile 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 138 reviews.
ujustdontgetit More than 1 year ago
I have been trying to get my 10 year old daughter to read a book and she got so into this book!! This is really great and I think kids love it because of expressive pictures and a true story of the author and kids think thats pretty cool!! great book!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely LOVED this book! If you wanna know what I did when I read it, all you have to do is read the title, Smile! I recommend this book for all kids and even teens! It is a great book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
5th grader loved this book,quick read for her finished in 1 day
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Raina is struggling with one specific aspect of her life... her smile. Having to get braces, she's dreading having to be a brace face, metal mouth - anything you want to label it. However, it's her smile, especially her teeth, that will haunt her all the way through middle school and up into high school. From having them knocked out, to wearing head gear, to even having to get a retainer with two fake front teeth. To get that perfect smile it's going to be a long journey... and a very painful one, at that. Along the way, social problems continue to follow Raina. From crushing on a younger guy, to getting that athlete to notice her, to even standing up for herself after she's had enough of the humiliation, Raina discovers who she is, how she shouldn't change anything about herself, and that true friends would never make or put you in awkward situations. Accompanied by colorful pictures, a cute and realistic storyline, and a main character that any person will be able to identify with, SMILE by Raina Telgemeier does one thing especially well... it makes the reader smile! Many of us have experienced getting braces, feeling the intense pain when we want that bite of the burger we can't have just yet. Almost all of us can understand what it's like when you want to break apart from the not-so-great friends we've had. Telgemeier does a fantastic job in capturing the true essence and emotions of a person going through changes. SMILE is one book you'll want your kids to read... and the one you'll want to read yourself!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
it was awesome i am speechless
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I llove this book soo much this is so awesome
mrjunoh More than 1 year ago
i think this book is great and intresting
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AMAZING!!!!! Great book you can't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Smile much? Well, for Raina in this situation, not so much. Raina Telgemeier had an accident that wasn't so pleasant, and it interferes with boys, middle school, and being a teenager. Braces, head gear, and a retainer with false teeth can explain a little of the so called "solution" to her dental accident. Smiling isn't apart of her life.yet. The author Raina Telgemeier grew up in San Francisco then moved to New York City where she got her masters degree at The School of Viual Arts. Her comics have been nominated for the Ignatz, Cybil, and Eisner Awards. Raina's comics have been shown on the web, magazine, and more. I'm like Raina because we both were involved with Girl Scouts, she likes a little bit of jewelry, and hanging out with friends. I'm not sure if my braces will interfere with being in middle school as much as they did with her. Smile is a book that will make you want to read more because of its shocking and fascinating storyline.
wendymass101 More than 1 year ago
This is a great book about being brave.I love it.(so much that I have read it 5 times :))
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Smile is a true story about Raina, a sixth grader, who just wants to enjoy her life as a normal teen. One night on her way home from girl scouts with her friends she trips and falls injuring her two front teeth. Now she has a long journey ahead of her evolving, surgery, braces, weird headgear and even a retainer with fake teeth. On top of all of that there is a huge earthquake, trouble with boys, and a friend that might turn out to be not so friendly. Through all of this Riana goes from little sixth grade middle school all the way to her freshman year. With all of this drama how will Riana ever survive the struggles of high school? Will she make new friends or be by herself? Will Riana ever be able to just smile again?  Raina Telgemeier tells her story of middle school in a great way. She has also written one other graphic novel called Drama and another series called Babysitters Club.  Raina Telgemeier doses a great job with this book because she tells her life story but adds in pictures too. This makes this book even more enjoyable and it makes it seem more comical. This keeps the readers interested throughout the whole book This is a great graphic novel that I defiantly enjoyed. I could really connect to Riana in this book because she went through a lot of the same problems I did in school. Having braces in middle school also really helped me to connect just what Riana was feeling throughout the book. Smile is a story for mainly teenage girls going through the same struggles in life. However many adults would enjoy this to. They might even be able to learn a little bit about the teenage life.
smartkid More than 1 year ago
This book keeps u busy and u can never put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever!! I love both books
colemanstudinttih More than 1 year ago
this was the best book in the world this my favirot and it might seem wered at first but when you get in to it you are going to love it !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book I use to always cheack it out from the librarry but now I have it on my nook color I hate Rainas old friends why are they so mean I love Rainas new friends they are soooo selfless and nice get this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i think its a really funny book. its really neat i give it 5 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is really good! It might be a little more expensive then what it's worth though. However, the book gave a clear understading, I had no trouble understanding what was going on. Overall this is a really good read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think its very eductional for kids to read and write about.
JeremyW79 More than 1 year ago
I can honestly, without hyperbole, give this book 5 stars in every single category for this review. Raina's story draws in with its honesty and great story. Kids will love this book... adults, looking back on their childhoods, possibly even more so. In addition the art is beautiful. If you buy this book... you will not be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book and I think kids and adults will love it! The book expresses life-like events!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read it's sequel sisters. I loved that and I love this!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think that this book is the best book ever in the world! Its just so amazing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have the real book and its awsome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This my favorite book ever and has been since I was 10 years old!!! So true and relatable to any teen girl reader!