Article, Booktalks

Smile Booktalk

  • Grades: 6–8

Smile Video Booktalk

Aah, hanging out with your friends. You laugh. You go shopping. You have sleepovers and you always have fun. Well, imagine this: you and your friends are chasing each other one day and you trip. When you fall, you hit the cement. You hit the cement so hard that you knock out your two front teeth! This is exactly what happens to the character of Raina in the graphic novel Smile by Raina Telgemeier.

After an emergency trip to Dr. Golden's office, the dentist glues Raina's teeth back into her mouth. He covers them in gauze that soon becomes soggy and gross. When Raina takes off the gauze, she discovers that the teeth have been inserted too far. Now she looks like a vampire! Going to school looking like a vampire will definitely make boys notice her, but not in a good way.

Luckily, Raina's dentist can fix her teeth, but there is one problem - it's going to take years! So many trips to the dentist's office to get fake teeth, braces and even head gear! How would you like to be called your dentist's star patient and see him more than you see some of your friends? It's no fun at all. And while suffering from this dental humiliation, she still has to find time to do all the things that normal middle school girls do. She needs to do homework, attend dances, try out for the school basketball team and secretly stalk Sean, the boy she has a huge crush on.

Will Raina's teeth ever grow back? Will she ever look "normal" again? Or is she doomed to a lifetime of surgery, all because she tripped?

  • Subjects:
    Challenges and Overcoming Obstacles, Middle School, Growing Up, Friends and Friendship
top