Reviews for Smile


Booklist Reviews 2009 December #2
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. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Fall
From sixth grade to high school, Raina has to deal with her teeth--braces, lost teeth, dental surgery--especially after an accident injures her front teeth (the dental details throughout aren't for the squeamish). She also has to cope with boys, friends, school, and puberty. Told in graphic novel format, Telgemeier's memoir ably depicts one girl's journey through adolescence. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2010 January #1
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) Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Library Journal Reviews Newsletter
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.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2009 December #1

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.)

[Page 51]. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 March

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

[Page 186]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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