ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER?
FICTION

Sisters

illus. by Raina Telgemeier. 208p. Scholastic/Graphix. Aug. 2014. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9780545540599; pap. $10.99. ISBN 9780545540605; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780545540667. LC 2013008700.
COPY ISBN
RedReviewStarGr 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
[=Color by]Fans of Telgemeier's graphic-novel memoir Smile will be smiling through this companion, an often bittersweet but amusing story about Raina's intense, difficult relationship with her younger sister, Amara. Sepia-toned pages mark flashbacks, which fill readers in on the evolution of this battle. Telgemeier's art humorously captures fourteen-year-old Raina's emotions, drawing readers into the road-trip story, which doesn't depend on having read the first book.
Fans of Telgemeier's graphic-novel memoir Smile will be smiling all the way through this companion book, an often bittersweet but amusingly told story about Raina's intense and difficult relationship with her younger sister, Amara. The summer before Raina starts high school, she and Amara, their younger brother, and their mom take a road trip from California to Colorado for a family reunion. As in Smile, sepia-toned pages mark the frequent flashbacks, which fill readers in on the evolution of this battle of the sisters, mainly involving Amara's outsized personality, her love of drawing (art had always been Raina's thing), and her love of snakes (Raina is terrified of them). In one crucial flashback Raina receives a Walkman for Christmas, and from then on she's able to tune out all the yelling (both happy and angry) in their small house. The Walkman also proves invaluable on the road trip -- until frustrated Amara informs Raina that not only has she tuned out all signs of their parents' troubled marriage, she's completely tuned out Amara. The story ends with a solidly believable truce between the warring siblings, who, one suspects, will continue to both annoy and support each other. Telgemeier's art humorously captures fourteen-year-old Raina's range of emotions, easily drawing readers into the story, which doesn't depend on having read the first book. The jacket art, however, cleverly ties this book to its predecessor: Smile's yellow smiley face with braces now also sports headphones, while a second (not-so-smiley) face glares angrily at the first. jennifer m. brabander

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED