If you haven't heard of writer/artist Raina Telgemeier it's probably because you don't have kids, or possibly you don't hear about what they're reading these days. I will say, as a dad and 3rd grade teacher that she's the hottest creator working right now. In fact, in 2016, she had 7 of the top 10 graphic novels sold, according to BookScan's data. She is hugely popular with teens and tweens who love the vibrantly colored books and the personalities of her characters and their worlds. She is writing a new Babysitter's Club series as well as her ongoing, semi-autobiographical books about her childhood.
Last year, she published her newest book in the series about her own life, titled GUTS. In this installment a young Raina is dealing with anxiety and the challenges of ever-evolving friendships, which seem to manifest themselves in her nervous stomach and eating issues. The story of a fifth grade girl dealing with social awkwardness and fears might seem odd to those of us reading superhero books, but they have been resonating with her throngs of fans since the beginning. Her honesty and sense of humor make her books very relatable, and both of my girls adore her work.
For more on that, here are some thoughts from (my soon-to-be 10-year-old) Charlie:
"I think people should read GUTS because it's an amazing story that a lot of people can relate to. It's also nice to see how well she draws her characters. The drawings are really cool. I think it's amazing that she draws and writes it herself. You don't usually get an author who also draws. I also like that this actually happened to a real person and when you read it, you feel like it's happening to you. I would recommend this to kids in 3rd grade and up."
Now let's hear from my 12 year old Kate:
"Every kid has the fear of being sick. This book kind of brings out how kids can feel about this. Little Raina's case is slightly more extreme because she is terrified and she lets it consume her. She is a very stressed girl. It's a new school year, there's a bully, and her friends are teasing her. She only really has one friend that she hangs with and towards the middle of the book she finds out her friend is moving away. She is going to lose her best friend and she is going to have to deal with all of these problems on her own. She is self-conscious and shy and has trouble standing up for herself. People should read this book because it's funny, interesting, and the illustrations and writing are great."
Thanks for checking out our review of GUTS by Raina Telgemeier. If you want to look into any of her works, as usual, HERE'S an eBay link for you!
We spoke about GUTS on our Saturday Morning YouTube show also, so if you want more on this book check it out!