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Text Difficulty:K - 2
- cooliobubbles - This book is about the author, Raina, and her sister Amara. As a little girl Raina always wanted a sister. But now she doesn't because Amara and her bicker A LOT. Amara is a good artist and Raina likes to listen to music. Their mom Denise and their dad have another kid named Will. When Will gets a little older they go on a trip except the dad. Raina doesn't want to sit in the passenger seat (shotgun) because of the incident. I'll leave that up for you to find out. Heh. so she sits in the back with her sister behind her. The problem is Raina and Amara never share with each other. They have to stay in a cabin when it starts raining. Then they go see their cousins and meet their dad there. After they left Raina (or Will) said " mom how come dad didn't come with us?" and her mom hesitates and says that she and Raina's dad thought that they should be apart for a while. They get stuck in the middle of nowhere, and a guy sees them and tries to help. The mom and Will get in the man's car and drive off. Leaving Raina and Amara in the van. During the time their mom and Will were gone, they were bored and finally something interesting happened. Raina had saw the incident on the ground and screamed. Amara put the incident in a paper bag and Raina was relieved. They suddenly became nice to each other and Amara handed her the batteries she needed and I think Raina handed Amara the colored pencils. Finally their mom came back and then Raina and Amara jumped out of the car and hugged their mom. Their mom said sorry and Raina said "I call shotgun!" their mom was surprised and Amara said she had caught the incident. So then they got in the car Amara in the back, Will in the middle and Raina in the shotgun seat. Raina listened to her music , but, she stopped to smile at her sister. Her sister looked down and blushed and they were a happy family. Im pretty sure they went home. and in the back of the book there are some pictures of Amara, Raina, and Will. It was a good book.
Starred review from May 26, 2014
In this companion to Telgemeier’s Smile, the graphic artist writes about her relationship with her younger sister, Amara, using a summer cross-country trip as narrative scaffolding as she examines the contrast between her childhood wish for a sister and life with a sibling she often can’t fathom—although Amara seems to have uncanny insight into her. “You ever feel like you just don’t fit in?” Raina asks Amara at a family gathering full of contemptuous teenage cousins. “All the time,” Amara replies. “The difference between you and me is, I don’t care.” Like Smile, it’s an alternately poignant and laugh-out-loud funny account of pre-adolescence whose episodes range from small crimes (Raina lying to Amara so she doesn’t have to share her art supplies) to acute crises (Amara’s pet snake Mango on the loose in the family’s VW Microbus). Underneath the immediate problems lies poignant uncertainty about the state of their parents’ marriage. Though the artwork draws little attention to itself, Telgemeier’s visual storytelling skills are well-honed, and readers will be left wishing for more. Ages 8–12. Agent: Judith Hansen, Hansen Literary Agency. (Aug.)■
Starred review from June 1, 2014
Two sisters who are constantly at odds take a family road trip that covers more ground-both literally and figuratively-than they expect.After begging her parents for a sister, Raina gets more than she bargained for once Amara is born. From the moment she was brought home, Amara hasn't been quite the cuddly playmate that Raina had hoped. As the years pass, the girls bicker constantly and apparently couldn't be more unalike: Raina spends her time indoors underneath her headphones, and Amara loves animals and the outdoors. The girls, their mother and their little brother all pack up to drive to a family reunion, and it seems like the trip's just going to be more of the same, with the girls incessantly picking on each other all the way from San Francisco to Colorado. However, when the trip doesn't go quite as planned-for a number of reasons-the girls manage to find some common ground. Told in then-and-now narratives that are easily discernable in the graphic format, Telgemeier's tale is laugh-out-loud funny (especially the story about the snake incident) and quietly serious all at once. Her rounded, buoyant art coupled with a masterful capacity for facial expressions complements the writing perfectly. Fans of her previous books Smile (2010) and Drama (2012) shouldn't miss this one; it's a winner.A wonderfully charming tale of family and sisters that anyone can bond with. (Graphic memoir. 7-13)
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Starred review from July 1, 2014
Gr 4 Up-Telgemeier has returned with a must-have follow-up to Smile (Scholastic, 2010) that is as funny as it is poignant, and utterly relatable for anyone with siblings. This realistic graphic memoir tells the story of Raina; her sister, Amara; and her brother, Will, as they take a road trip with their mother from California to Colorado to join a family reunion. The author's narrative style is fresh and sharp, and the combination of well-paced and well-placed flashbacks pull the plot together, moving the story forward and helping readers understand the characters' point of view. The volume captures preadolescence in an effortless and uncanny way and turns tough subjects, such as parental marriage problems, into experiences with which readers can identify. This ability is what sets Telgemeier's work apart and makes her titles appealing to such a wide variety of readers. Not only does the story relay the road trip's hijinks, but it also touches on what happens with the advent of a new sibling and what it means to be truly sisters. Fans of the graphic novelist's work will be sure to delight in this return to the Telgemeier's family drama.-Krishna Grady, Darien Library, CT
Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
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