Monday, January 7, 2013

Raina Telgemeier

I don't know if any of you have ever read any of Raina Telgemier 's graphic novels, but they are very good.  She also adapted and illustrated several of the BabySittersClub series...

You can Visit her at

Anyway, today I read two of her Graphic Novels.  One of which was a New York Times bestseller.

(That one was Smile)

So I'll start by reviewing that one.

I don't remember the first time that I read Smile, before today.  I think that it was sometime in the last two years though, because I remembered it starkly and recommended it often.

Smile is a true story about growing up.  With friend, family, and school drama.  And something else a little more unusual.  Four and a half years of orthodontic treatment, some of which was made up along the way.  Mixed together it tells the story of a part of Raina Telgemier's adolescent life, all of which she provided illustrations for. :)

Today, when I read it, I was a little less impressed.  Maybe it was just because I knew the story well, or that I am older.  I guess after looking at it from a new perspective, I will say that Smile is geared for younger audience, one that I am no longer in. And that is sad.

On the bright side, I also read Raina Telgemier's newest graphic novel, called Drama.  (Published only this past September!!!!)

Drama is about a middle school girl named Callie, who is really involved with her schools musical productions.  But Callie is not in the spotlight, or performing on stage at all, she is part of the stage crew.  Specifically, she's the set designer.

Over the course of the book, Callie deals with drama from the musical, drama with her crush, drama with her stage crew friends, and drama with her two new friends, Jesse and Justin.  The drama with those two, however, tackles something not often sought about in Middle School age books.  Their drama involves being gay.

Needless to say, Callie solves her problems, helps people make some amazing personal discoveries, and  manages to solve problems to put on a fantastic show!

I much recommend this book, probably over Smile by a long shot.  The characters were developed and I don't think Raina felt as compelled to make things follow exactly as they did in her life, although a lot of the Musical and Stage  production element came from her own personal experiences.  She was able to let the characters stories flow out in a very pleasing way, and I am excitedly awaiting Raina's next work...

Au revior,


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