Smile (Scholastic, 224 pp., $10.99), an autobiographical graphic novel by Raina Telgemeier, deals with the author’s early teen years growing up in San Francisco. Raina recalls an accident in which she injures her two front teeth and must spend years dealing with dentists and braces.
At heart, this is a story about growing up, coping with insecurities, and becoming comfortable with who you are. Telgemeier has a fun cartoon style and excels at meaningful facial expressions. Teens struggling with issues of appearance and identity – especially if they wear braces – may take comfort in the thought that one day they’ll learn, as Raina does, to feel good about themselves, inside and out.