Ok so I had to get my students to help me out on this one. I don’t usually read graphic novels, other than the few that I was assigned in my young adult literacy classes in college. So choosing one that I would enjoy was going to take some research. Luckily, my students love graphic novels. When I explained the challenge to them I had several offer up suggestions right away. Smile was one of the ones that multiple students were recommending to me over and over again. Needless to say, my students were really happy to hear that I ended up really liking it. It’s a memoir written about the author’s experience as a teenager. She ends up hurting herself and as a result knocking out her two front teeth. What follows is her experience with braces and just growing up in general for the next four years. Many of us will recognize the same kind of issues: acne, crushes, puberty, losing and gaining friends, and so on. It didn’t take me long to finish but I found that it was a nice change of pace. I thought the art was really well done, especially considering the context and intended age level of the book. Some of us old schoolers will appreciate Raina’s experiences even more since the story takes place in the late 80s and early 90s. There’s even a part where she goes to the movies to see The Little Mermaid. None of the kids have cell phones, notes are passed in class, and Walkman’s are actually a thing. It was fantastic! Overall I gave the book a 3.5 and have since added it to my classroom library. I promised my students that I would pick up her other book, Sisters, soon.