I read both of these children's / YA (depends on where your library shelves it) graphic novels for my reader's advisory goal at work. I have seen so many young girls pick up copies of these two, I thought I should see what the fuss was about. I'm so glad I did!
Smile is the autobiographical story of Raina's pre-teen and early-teen years, centering around the ordeals she went through with her teeth and orthodontic work. Sounds like kind of odd, mundane subject matter, but it was far from it. On the contrary--Raina went through a lot of harrowing drama when it came to her teeth, which had a huge impact on her coming-of-age in that awkward stage of life we all go through. We follow her ups and downs, as she faces troubles and learns more about herself in the process. It's really a well-told story, the art is great, and the '90s references are the icing on the cake!
Sisters is the follow-up to Smile, illustrating Raina's relationship with her younger sister Amara through a series of flashbacks laced throughout a particularly dramatic episode in their lives as they braved a family trip together. Smile was my favorite of the two, but Sisters makes a great companion read and adds more background and depth to supplement the story you just didn't want to end in Smile.
These were both great reads! I'm pretty new to graphic novels, and these two were a great place to get my feet wet. I will certainly be recommending them to library patrons, and anyone looking for a good coming-of-age story!