Smile by Raina Telgemeier

81%

38 Critic Reviews

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.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

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.
 

About Raina Telgemeier

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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.
 
Published July 29, 2014 by Graphix. 224 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Comics & Graphic Novels, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Children's Books, Health, Fitness & Dieting. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Smile
All: 38 | Positive: 37 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Good
on Dec 22 2010

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.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on Dec 26 2016

This book should appeal to tweens looking for a story that reflects their fears and experiences and gives them hope that things get easier.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Elizabeth Bird on May 14 2010

Here, then, is a story to comfort readers traversing the years between childhood and adulthood: it presents a kind of worst-case scenario with a happy ending.

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Christian Science Monitor

Good
Reviewed by Rich Clabaugh on Dec 03 2010

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.

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Booklist Online

Good
Reviewed by Francisca Goldsmith on Dec 15 2009

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.

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Kidz World

Excellent
Reviewed by Kidzworld on Feb 01 2010

But Smile isn't about Raina asking for your pity - and the entire story isn't spent in a dentist's chair. Rather, the teeth thing is a device the author uses to explore other themes that most teenage girls in America will be able to relate to...

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Greenwood Public Library

Above average
Reviewed by Miss Anne on Jul 15 2013

She experiences an earthquake, her first crushes, and deals with finally liberating herself from her girlfriends who made her miserable with their ridicule and mean tricks. This has won rave reviews and many awards, but I thought it was just “pretty good’.

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WAPL Teens

Good
Reviewed by Megan on May 17 2011

If you've ever had braces (7 years, guys, SEVEN YEARS) or a really bad experience at the dentist, this one's for you! The best part about this great little graphic novel is that it's a true story...

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The Yalsa Hub

Good
Reviewed by Marie Penny on Mar 07 2011

By the end I was rooting for her bravery and strength, especially when she establishes supportive friendships. I only wish that I had read a book like this to read when I was growing up.

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Provo City Library's Children Book Review

Good
on Sep 25 2010

A great read with warm and friendly illustrations. Reading Smile was like spending time with a friend from junior high, and don't worry that can be a good thing.

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Shoreline Area News

Good
Reviewed by Aarene Storms on Dec 03 2015

This author excels at telling gentle stories in graphic novel format that teens can relate to--with, or without braces. Here's another good one of those.

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Booking Mama

Good
Reviewed by Julie P. on Jan 28 2012

I loved SMILE -- probably even more so that Booking Daughter. I recommend it to all tween girls... and their moms!

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Story Snoops

Good
Reviewed by Shannon on Dec 18 2016

Based by the author's own ordeal with orthodontia, this is a fun and compassionate read for anyone of middle school age, or anyone who has ever had braces, particularly reluctant readers.

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The Blue Bookcase

Good
Reviewed by Liesl on Dec 18 2016

Reading Recommendations: Give it a whirl. Anyone. Give it to your kid. Give it to your mom. Just read it.

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Beth Fish Reads

Good
Reviewed by Beth Fish Reads on Aug 06 2012

Once I started reading Smile I couldn't put it down. Raina Telegemeier's engaging, personal story teaches all of us about self-confidence, true friendship, and how to survive the dentist.

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Reading on a Rainy Day

Above average
Reviewed by Athira on Aug 02 2013

...I expected more explanations at certain points, none came. It wasn't too big a deal really - Telgemeier makes up for it with her awesome graphics that definitely articulate the book Raina's feelings and worries very well.

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Diary of an Eccentric

Good
Reviewed by Anna on May 23 2012

I liked the main character, Raina, because she would do the same things in certain situations that I would do, especially when some fake friends do something really embarrassing to her.

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It's All About Books

Good
Reviewed by Suey on Feb 03 2016

It was fun to see the historical and cultural references she made to stuff going on in the world. This was during my "lost years" where I wasn't paying attention to much of anything since I had just entered my life as a mommy with little babies. So while I can't say totally that I related, I did enjoy experiencing it with her.

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Kiss the Book

Above average
Reviewed by CINDY MITCHELL on Oct 20 2010

I'm not that much into comics, but this is one of those books that just wouldn't be the same without pictures. This is a quick and fun read, and i would recommend it to anyone even if you don't like comics.

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Stacked

Good
Reviewed by Kelly on Aug 02 2010

I would hand this book off to middle schoolers who are looking for someone to relate to, especially those who will begin the milestone years known as the brace-face years.

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Books 4 Your Kids

Good
Reviewed by Tanya on Dec 31 2010

I intended to only read a few pages but ended up reading it from cover to cover and staying up WAY past my bedtime... It was well worth the loss of sleep.

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Back to Books

Above average
Reviewed by Nicola Mansfield on Dec 03 2010

One notices all the issues being dealt with within this story without an issue being made out of them and the story is a very enjoyable read. Both funny and emotional.

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Kevin's Meandering Mind

Good
Reviewed by Kevin on Apr 11 2012

What works so well is Telgemeier’s writing and art, as they come together with wisdom and lead us in the end not to some dramatic moment or plot twist, but instead, to the understanding that our path through life takes us in many directions...

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I'd Rather Be Reading

Excellent
Reviewed by Dunlap Librarian on Jan 31 2012

Ah, adolescence. I have no desire to ever think of you in any way other than hilarious graphic novels. Suddenly the awkward physical appearances and awkward social situations are less horrific and more hysterical! I so admire Telgemeier for recounting her autobiography in such an entertaining format.

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Waking Brain Cells

Good
on Feb 17 2010

A fresh, funny look at being a teen, this book will easily find a readership and be eagerly passed from person to person.

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Reading Nook

Good
Reviewed by Britt on Feb 04 2011

Even if you have tons of self confidence it does effect you in some way what people are saying or doing to you. This was completely age appropriate and a great book for every girl to read.

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Reader Girlz

Good
Reviewed by Lorie Ann Grover on Feb 18 2010

...I loved Smile by Raina Telgemeier...This is a one sitting read, rgz, because it's fun, tender, and real. Definitely a delight!

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Bibliophilic Monologues

Good
Reviewed by Nafiza on Feb 04 2014

It is a fairly short read that has a fast pace as graphic novels are wont to have and finishing it leaves you smiling and perhaps wincing in sympathy or feeling empathy for someone who has had to go through so much just for her smile. I recommend this, really. It’s funny, quirky and heartwarming.

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Wandering Librarians

Good
Reviewed by Arianna on Feb 28 2011

It's not just about middle school or teeth. It was about discovering yourself and that's something that any age person can relate to. Especially when it's done so nicely.

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Simply Stacie

Good
Reviewed by Stacie on Aug 04 2010

I would highly recommend Smile for girls (and women) of all ages because it is a fun graphic novel with a great message about finding confidence in yourself!

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Lavender Lines

Good
on Jun 07 2013

This was a quick read for me and when I sat down to start it, I didn’t get up until I finished it. I was captivated by Raina’s voice and everything she was going through. I highly recommend Smile to kids and adults a lot. After all, most of us still feel like an awkward 13 year old inside.

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Great Kid Books

Good
Reviewed by Mary Ann Scheuer on Mar 15 2010

She has a lovely style, full of action and emotions, and yet not too dense so the story shines through...It's going to be my go-to present for girls turning 11 and 12!

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Libby Blog

Good
Reviewed by Ange Schmelzer on Jun 07 2015

I like this book. I have read this book 4 times now because it's SO GOOD! Now that I've read some of Raina Telgemeier's books I'm wondering what she's going to write next.=)

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Comics Worth Reading

Good
Reviewed by Johanna on Apr 13 2010

Being 12 is a real turning point in life, and the best part of the book is the way teenage Raina learns to make her own choices.

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Abby the Librarian

Good
Reviewed by Abby on Feb 12 2010

The story's told in a frank, fresh style that kids will appreciate. If I had to pick one word to describe this book, it would be "genuine". It'll please avid comic readers and win new fans to the genre.

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Did you ever stop to think and forget to start again?

Excellent
on Jul 15 2013

God this comic is gorgeous. Utterly, vividly gorgeous. It made me laugh, it made me smile and it made me fall in love with the protagonist. Smile is one to discover.

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Greg McElhatton

Good
on Feb 24 2010

This is a book I would have adored as a teenager, but even though I’m over twice the age of that target audience it’s still a joy to read.

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http://www.comicmix.com

Good
Reviewed by Robert Greenberger on Jan 26 2010

Her drawing is a delight, the storytelling straightforward, and nothing is left ambiguous. She’s frank and honest, using this story as an emotional catharsis of sorts, while letting her readers know that it’s okay to be shy or getting medical work done is just another part of growing up.

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Reader Rating for Smile
99%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 791 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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