Smile by Raina Telgemeier

Based on personal experiences, this graphic novel will speak to those of us who are teenagers and those who have survived that age.  Raina just wants to be a normal kid.  But one evening, she falls when running, tripping and damaging her front teeth.  This sets her on a journey of braces, dental surgery, and headgear.  On top of her dental issues, Raina also deals with the normal teen issues of friends, bullies, and crushes on boys.  Readers get to watch Raina grow up from a sixth grader to a high school student as she learns about acceptance, self-esteem, and the importance of good dentists.

Written with lots of humor, this book has a feel for what makes being a teenager both funny and painful.  Telgemeier’s writing is refreshing and fast paced.  Her art is friendly and silly.  With her art and writing combined, she has created a book with a fresh feel that has universal appeal.  While speaking of her own issues with teeth, she speaks to all of our strange teen situations and what each of us dealt with or is dealing with. 

A fresh, funny look at being a teen, this book will easily find a readership and be eagerly passed from person to person.  Appropriate for ages 11-14.

Reviewed from Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) where most of the illustrations were not yet in color.

2010 Audie Award Nominees

The Audio Publishers Association has announced their nominees for the best in audio books.  Here are the nominees in the children’s and teen categories:


Ages Up to 8

A Dog on His Own by M. J. Auch, narrated by William Dufris

Arabel’s Raven by John Aiken, narrated by Sneha Mathan

Friend or Fiend with the Pain and the Great One by Judy Blume, narrated by Kathleen McInterney and Judy Blume

Knuffle Bunny Too by Mo Willems, narrated by Mo and Trixie Willems

Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken by Kate DiCamillo, narrated by Barbara Rosenblat


Ages 8-12

A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck, narrated by Ron McLarty

Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen, narrated by Tom Parks

The Midnight Charter by David Whitley, narrated by Simon Vance

Operation Yes by Sara Holmes, narrated by Jessica Almasy

Timothy and the Dragon’s Gate by Adrienne Kress, narrated by Christopher Lane



Going Bovine by Libba Bray, narrated by Erik Davies

In the Belly of the Bloodhound by L.A. Meyer, narrated by Katherine Kellgren

Mississippi Jack by L.A. Meyer, narrated by Katherine Kellgren

Peace, Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson, narrated by Dion Graham

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, narrated by Jeannie Stith