Smile is perfect for young readers experiencing their own dental dramas

Smile
Smile by Raina Telgemeier
★★★★☆
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: 
Review Source: Borrowed copy

I wish there were more fun stories like Smile out there. I went through my own dental dramas in my pre-teen years that lasted through to my sophomore year so Raina’s story really resonated with me. Losing teeth and watching the shape of your face change leaves people–not just kids and teens–with a lot of insecurity. Sharing these stories can really help remind some of these people in extreme situations that they aren’t as alone as they might feel.

I’d recommend Smile to children ages 8-12, especially those of whom are beginning to go to orthodontists themselves, or those who really enjoy comics and graphic novels, or those who aren’t keen readers. The dialogue is very beginner-friendly, and anyone who knows someone with braces will be able to enjoy the humour that Telgemeier spins from these sometimes painful and awkward years.

Archie, Volume One: The New Riverdale is fresh, funny, and true to the characters I know and love

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Archie, Volume One: The New Riverdale by Mark Waid
★★★
Genre: Graphic Novel
Pages: 176
Publisher: Archie Comic Publications
Publication Date: March 29, 2016
Review Source: Purchased copy
Archie, Volume One: The New Riverdale is an adaptation on the classic Archie series. Jughead, Betty, and Veronica are all back at Riverdale High, and Mark Waid has succeeded in staying true to the personalities loved by generations of readers, while also modernizing the Archie universe, making it more accessible to a new generation of Archie readers.

Archie made me nostalgic: for my old high school days and for the old Archie comics I used to read at the cottage in the summer. I was engaged and read through this pretty quickly considering I never got to sit down with it for more than 5 or 10 minute at a time. I didn’t want to put it down. Unfortunately, now I have to, because Volume Two isn’t on my shelf (yet).

The art is great. I feel like Archie got an HD upgrade! I am particularly fond of Fiona Staples’ work. Overall, I am impressed by the cohesiveness of the three different artists’ styles. While remaining distinct, the changing styles were not jarring or unwelcome.
This edition includes some special features in the back which include a Cover Gallery, a spread explaining how the Archie graphic novel was made, and an afterword from Mark Waid. There is also a preview of Jughead: Volume One by Chip Zdarsky, but I have to say, it didn’t grab me nearly as much as Archie had.

I recommend Archie to fans of the original series, to middle grade readers and up, and to those who enjoy comic books.