Monday, April 16, 2012

Smile

Post from Stephanie McSpadden about a different kind of book and her daughters' reaction to it.

Telgemeier, R. (2000). Smile. New York: Graphix.


This book is of the realistic fiction genre, but with a twist! It is written as a graphic novel or a "comic style" novel. It was chosen for the Eisner Award (aka the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards) which is also referred as the Oscar Awards of the Comic Industry. The award was given in 2011 for "Best Publication for Teens". I chose this novel for a variety of reasons: 1. It is written in a different style that has become more popular, but presented in typical book fashion and 2. both my daughters have read this book and both have different tastes in what they like to read (my 14 year old loves historical genre and my 9 year old loves contemporary genre). They both LOVED this book and thought it was a fun, quick read (at least for them!). This book takes place over the period of a few years. It is written in first person and starts in the 6th grade with Raina at the orthodontist. She leaves knowing she is going to be getting braces and, naturally, she is not happy about it. She vents to her friends, who try to tell her it won't be all that bad, but then she has a horrible accident on her way home that results in busting out her two front teeth! She is horrified, naturally, and this sets off all sorts of events that shape her life in the next few years, including surviving an earthquake, boys, and her first year of high school! Could you imagine these chains of events happening to you? In this book, Raina is a very round character with both good and bad traits who learns who her true friends are and most importantly, finding out who she is. The organization of the book also lends itself to flow easily and the length of the chapters is perfect for grades 5-8. This book also holds your attention, making you want to read the whole thing in one sitting!!

Big Questions: What kinds of events in your life that have changed you in some way? How would you continue Raina's story? Do you think Raina made the right decision with her friends from middle school? Why or why not? What would you do if this happened to you? How would you feel?

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