Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dental dramas: Smile

Raina Telgemeier's Smile, a graphic memoir, starts with her going to the orthodontist merely to correct her overbite. This is traumatic enough to her: her sister teases her about her impending status as a "metal-mouth" although her friends tell her that it won't be too bad. She never expects the accident in which she knocks out her two front teeth, setting her on a traumatic orthodontic odyssey that involves a root canal, braces, headgear and successive retainers with fake front teeth while her own teeth were moved into the gap.

Raina is still undergoing the same journey as other girls her age, juggling thoughts of friends and boys while trying to deal with what they must think of her strange appearance. This is a book that will appeal not only to tweens and teens but to anyone who has had braces. My own years with headgear and the teeth I had pulled were painful enough, I can't imagine going through anything like this.

The book is presented in bold, visually appealing colours with an easily-read font and has been nominated for the 2011 Great Graphics for Teens list by the American Library Association.

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