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Book Reviews: Drama, Sisters, & Smile by Raina Telgemeier

DramaDrama by Raina Telgemeier
Callie is a self-proclaimed theater geek but while she loves theater, she knows her place is creating the stage not performing on it. If she isn’t working after school as part of the stage crew, you can find her at the bookstore visiting her favorite book of Broadway stage photographs; visiting because she can’t afford to bring it home. This year the drama department’s production is “Moon Over Mississippi”. Callie knows the songs by heart and is determined to create a Broadway worthy set, despite the fact that they are on a middle school budget. Meanwhile Callie finds herself in the middle of her own middle school boy drama. Why are the guys you like are always taken, gay, acting strange, or just plain not interested?

The book is set up in “Acts”, which adds to the theater effect. It was a fast, fun, easy read with strong characters. I’d give it to fans of Telgemeier’s other books; fans of theater and/or Glee. Girls looking for books that have a strong female who isn’t lost because she doesn’t get the boy.

Want to read it? Click here to place the book on hold!


Sisters Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
What teenager doesn’t love a road trip in a van with no air conditioning and two younger siblings?!? Raina’s family is driving from California to Colorado for a two week road trip. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

If you have read her graphic novel Smile, then you will recognize Raina, and her siblings Amara and Will. This story takes place during the time of Smile, although if you haven’t read it, you won’t miss anything. You can see Raina’s braces but she doesn’t incorporate any of those issues into this story.

I didn’t like it as well as Smile, but probably because it didn’t have the same “make you squirm in pain” feeling. I didn’t have a younger sister, but I had a younger brother so I can definitely understand the sibling rivalry. It is a fast, read in one sitting graphic novel.

Want to read it? Click here to place the book on hold!


Smile Smile by Raina Telgemeier
It seems like most of us aren’t lucky enough to make it to adulthood without the help a little orthodontic work. Raina was at the beginning stages of getting braces when an accident accelerated the process. Running home after a girl scout meeting ends with Raina tripping and knocking out her two front teeth. When the doctor is unable to successfully reinsert the teeth, Raina begins the painful process of having her teeth pulled, twisted, and re-spaced, with the hope of the perfect smile. Adolescence is hard enough with having to survive middle and high school without adding the pain and humiliation of braces. Will Raina ever be able to just smile, accept herself, and enjoy her experiences?

The book made me flashback to having orthodontic work when I was in grade school. I wanted to make sure that Raina survived her own identity struggles as well as her horrible “friends”. I’d give it to anyone who grew up in the late 80s/90s, middle schoolers, parents & teachers.

(**Check out another review of Smile.**)

Want to read it? Click here to place the book on hold!

Reviews by Jenn, YA Librarian (View all my Goodreads reviews)

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