English 341: It’s Like This

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Blog 6: Your Average Teenage Girls Guide to Brace Yourself for Life by Raina Telgemeier

Blog 6: Your Average Teenage Girls Guide to Brace Yourself for Life by Raina Telgemeier

Smile is about a girl named Raina Telgemeier who is your average middle school student that lives in San Fransisco. She goes to school, has a group of girl friends and is in the Girl Scouts. She gets the talk that we all do from our dentist that it’s time for braces, but before that can happen she has an accident while racing on foot with a friend. After getting up from her fall she realizes that her two front teeth are gone, completely fell out of her mouth. Not only does Raina have major dental appointments in her future but also typical teenage issues with family, friends and boys. She goes through bad crushes and bad friends but she always manages to get through it. This graphic novel is such a wholesome tale of a young girl and the cool thing about it is the author wrote it about herself. I’ve never seen somebody write and autobiographical graphic novel. What attracted me to this book was the fact that my sister read it when she got her braces on for the first time and she loved the book. I would have never thought that I would be able to use a graphic novel in a classroom setting, but from the graphic novel resource guide came tons of classroom activity ideas.

Mostly throughout the whole novel each sequence is a different week and the author does put in sequences to show time passing like during Raina’s summers and just gives a brief description and image of what the majority of her summer was. The other long sequence I noticed, probably the longest was when Nicole and Karin “pants” her in the middle of lunch in front of the whole school because she has to recover and also has an important moment where she stands up for herself. This sequence is slower than the others because Raina talks to herself in the bathroom and it shows the whole entire scene where the girls giggle and then run up behind her. It also includes where Raina then has to face the girls that she was “pantsed” by and tell herself not to cry. I think it could also be considered the climax of the novel because after that Raina’s life starts to go up.

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