I’m embarrassed at how late this is, but it’s worth a shot. I really REALLY love my graphic novel so even if this doesn’t end up counting towards my grade, I will have enjoyed expressing my unwavering admiration for “Smile” yet again. I would just like to point out that when I received all my books in the mail at the beginning of the semester, I read this book within 2 hours of opening the box. It was just so capturing and relatable, it was hard to put down!
This book differed in that it was written in comic book style, as many graphic novels are. Though the colorful pictures take over the pages, I still found myself reading the text first, and then going back and looking at the pictures after reading the whole page. I’m not sure if kids would do the same, which could potentially propose an issue, but I think mostly as long as the child understands what is going on it should matter too much. I think this changed the way I read, in that I really had to pay attention to what I was reading and all the details in each picture to get the full effect. When I reread this book, I saw so many things I hadn’t even noticed before. I know that when rereading something, you always notice more the second time around, but this book had so many details and easy-to-miss things that the second time reading it was even better than the first.
I wish someone had given this to me when I was starting middle school. Though I never had braces, this book is so spot on. This book perfectly illustrates what middle school and starting high school is like.
The author, Raina, is also the main character, as she is writing about her experience growing up. I love that the timeline is based around her extensive dental procedures, that basically start and finish the book.
I know one issue that might surface with this book is that it is about a young girl, so consiquently younger boys might not be interested in reading it. Though it is about a girl, she isn’t the slightest bit a “girly girl” and I think boys would still enjoy reading about Raina and all her life struggles.
This is a great book for kids who don’t really want to read. I know it really only takes one good book to make a child into a reader, and this could be that book for a lot of kids. I highly suggest it for teachers, and it could be a great model for a real-life comic book lesson plan. Kids could take a simple situation that they experienced recently at home or at school, and creatively use it to make a short story. Even the not so artistic kids could look at how Raina drew her life and copy her style of illustration as well as writing.