Raina wants to be a normal sixth grader, who fits in with all her friends. One night, she trips and seriously injures her front teeth. It is the beginning of a long process involving dental surgery, braces, headgear, and fake teeth. She must also navigate the normal perils of middle school: boys, natural disasters, and fake friends.
Told in graphic novel form, Raina's memoir is presented in a way that helps young readers understand that growing up can be difficult, but they can make it through trying experiences. Even if the reader has never experienced the horrors of trying to navigate life with dental issues, they can relate to trying to figure out friendships and who they are.
This was the fifteenth book the Bookworms read together. Paige chose this book for us. I think this book would be great for ages 10 and up. Although younger could read it if interested. It will probably appeal to girls more as the main character is a girl, but boys could also identify with the characters. We had some great discussions about friendship, and how you should treat other people. Here are some of the Bookworms' thoughts on the book. Warning! There may be some spoilers.
Q&A With The Bookworms Book Club
How many stars out of 5 would you give the book?
Paige 5 1/2 Because it was really good! It is one of my favourite books in the world. It was my first time reading it.
What was your favourite part of the book?
Paige The beginning when she chipped her tooth.
Alejandro The gum doctor and how he almost got sued.
Paige Would you guys ever read the second and third book?
Whitney: I would try reading them.
How would you feel about getting braces?
Alejandro Worried other kids might be mean.
Paige Not excited at all. A little scared maybe.
Some of Raina's friends do things to embarrass her, what do you think about that?
Alejandro I wouldn't like it.
Paige I would be mad and sad.
Whitney: Why did they do it?
Alejandro Because they were teasing so they thought it was fun.
Paige It didn't hurt them.
Raina decides not to be friends with the mean kids anymore, what do you think about that?
Paige It was a good decision.
Alejandro It was a good idea, that way she doesn't end up like them.
Whitney: Would it be hard to do that?
What did you think of her new friends?
Alejandro They were cooler. They didn't tease or hurt her.
Paige Her new friends were nicer. They didn't talk bad about her.
Was everything perfect for Raina when she got her braces off?
Alejandro She got used to the braces.
Paige It didn't fix her friends.
What did you think of the book?
Paige It was a really good book!
Alejandro I liked that it was based on a true story.
Thank you to the Bookworms for reading and reviewing this book with me. I look forward to reading and discussing our next book together.