Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Want Something to Smile About?

You know when you read a good book and you just can’t wait to share it with someone?  How about when you read a book and something reminds you of a family member or friend?  Do you ever read a book and have to call a friend and demand that they read it too?  I love reading so much, I can’t wait to share it with other people.  Maybe that’s the reason that I love teaching reading so much.  I read a good book and I can’t wait to put it into the hands of others.  I also have this urge to put the perfect book into the hands of each student in my classroom.  If you like animals, video games, spooky mysteries, or even just love a story about falling in love, I like finding that book for you.  Sometimes though, a story just makes you smile.  If you are like me, you want other people to smile too … so you have to share that book that made you smile, pass it on, recommend it to a friend.  Write about it online. Share your smile with someone else!


Smile by Raina Telgemeier really did make me smile.  I had heard about the book but, I avoided it because I wasn’t really sure about graphic novels.  Finally, I took the plunge to read Smile.  The book had me smiling from the start because of the connection to Girl Scouts which is an organization that I have been involved with for over 30 years.  Seeing the characters in Girl Scout uniforms warmed my heart and I know that I was going to connect deeper with the novel as I continued to read.  The pain, agony, and difficult situations might not have mirrored those I had in junior high, but I remembered feeling awkward and out of place, just like Raina.

Main character, Raina, has major issues when she has a mishap involving her teeth.  It seems like trouble follows her, first forcing her into major orthodontia, then having to endure painful operations and teasing, all in her early teen years.  Despite all of her troubles, Raina manages to have a few smiles, learn a few tough lessons, and come out on the other side a stronger person.  Told in Graphic novel format, we are given a glimpse into many different parts of Raina life, meeting her family, friends, classmates, and dentists.  Everything from love and friendship, to schoolwork and family life are covered.

I enjoyed meeting Raina.  I enjoyed it so much; I made my husband read the book, then my mother.  I put the book and their hands and let the book draw them in, the way it drew me in.  That’s how a good book can make people feel.  I felt connected, I wanted others to connect, and they did!  I loved this book and am now willing to admit, I was surprised by how easy the graphic novel format was to read.  I might have had to look back at pictures to gain understanding of some of the storylines, but overall the story flowed effortlessly.  I can see why middle grade and YA readers like these books.  So, Smile made me smile.  I enjoyed the personal journey author Raina Telgemeier shared with readers, and I will happily read more of what she has to offer.  (And I might just make others read it too!)


  1. I loved SMILE and also the connection with Girl Scouts too! This was the first time I ever read a "graphic novel" (or what I think of as a comic book-style read) Raina learns to "go with the flow" of teenage years and survives and thrives. Thanks for putting the book in my hands :)

  2. Glad you liked it! I love sharing books!

  3. I love this Book!!!