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Smile Paperback – February 1, 2010
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From School Library Journal
---New York Times Book Review
"Irresistible, funny and touching - a must read for all teenage girls, whether en-braced or not."
"Charming... This book should appeal to tweens looking for a story that reflects their fears and experiences and gives them hope that things get easier." --Publishers Weekly
"Telgemeier's storytelling and full-color cartoony images form a story that will cheer and inspire any middle-schooler dealing with orthodontia." --Booklist
"Teens struggling with issues of appearance and identity-especially if they wear braces-may take comfort in the thought that one day they'll learn, as Raina does, to feel good about themselves, inside and out." --Christian Science Monitor
- Publisher : Graphix; 1st edition (February 1, 2010)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 224 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0545132061
- ISBN-13 : 978-0545132060
- Reading age : 8 - 12 years
- Lexile measure : GN410L
- Grade level : 3 - 7
- Item Weight : 13.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.25 x 0.75 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #37,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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The book introduced my son to the idea that you need to have your first kiss when you are 13, that girls need to shave their legs, to the game spin the bottle, the girls need a makeover if they are going to get boys to kiss them, to the phrase "have the hots" for someone, and to the idea that you should feel insecure about yourself based on how you look but then if you fix whatever is causing you to feel insecure (like your teeth) in the end it will be better and you can be happy. All of this might be fine for someone who was already experiencing these things (I guess, although the book sort of normalizes these things and does not offer alternative frames for thinking about these issues or question them), but for an eight year old who was blissfully unaware of all of this, the book is not helpful.
I try to encourage my kids to read age appropriate books, yet at the same time try not to censor them. My son I think was mostly drawn to the comic book format, but after we talked about it he agreed that it would be fine to find other books with similarly cool pictures where the themes are more age appropriate. I am simply writing this in case it helps another parent to judge whether or not this makes sense for your child's context, age, and maturity. I'm not sure I'd love this book for an older child, but certainly not a child in elementary school.
I rate 2/5 instead of 1/5 because, while the literary content is lacking, the art throughout the book is actually very nice.
I gave it to my daughter and she dove right in! She finished it the day after she started it and immediately asked if there was a sequel or at least more from that author. Having a graphic novel style book about a real struggle, that even features an endodontist!, seemed to really help her not feel so alone.
Top reviews from other countries
The ending isn't one of a perfect life, but it is of a happy one.