When we went to the National Book Festival this year, my sister and I wandered into a tent where Telgemeier was speaking. I knew that she did comics, but that was about it. Her talk ended up being the highlight of the festival for us. She was funny and affable, and I resolved to read her book as soon as I could.
Smile is the story of Telgemeier’s dental trauma that occurs after she falls on her face in the sixth grade. She endures five years of painful surgeries, implants, and braces to try and correct the damage done to her teeth. Of course she also has the normal teenage awkwardness to reckon with on top of her embarrassment over her odd teeth.
This was a fun read; I can see why it has hit a chord with a lot of young women. I actually related to this story a lot because I had a very similar experience with my teeth when I was in third grade and had to spend almost as much time with dentists, orthodontists, and oral surgeons as Telgemeier did. This is a great book for preteens, or anyone else really—it’s very cute and funny.