Recommended for ages 10+
A companion to her Eisner Award-winning graphic novel, Smile, Sisters examines Raina Telgemeier’s relationship with her sister, Amara. The autobiographical novel takes place mainly during a road trip to visit her mother’s family that Telgemeier took when she was 14, with flashbacks that spotlight key points in Raina and Amara’s relationship, leading up to the road trip.
Sisters is about relationships, and emotions that come into play in those relationships. The primary relationship is the one between Raina and Amara, but there are other important relationships here – relationships that, for the purposes of this book, orbit Raina and Amara, but will strike a chord with any reader – the relationship between the sisters and their younger brother, Will; their relationship between their parents; the relationships between their mother and her siblings (and how it mirrors theirs) and the relationship between Raina and her cousins.
Sisters examines family tension on many levels – it’s not a dark novel, but it does inject realism and humor into situations many of us know all too well, and Ms. Telgemeier’s soft cartoon art is like comfort food for my psyche.
Smile still continues to be one of the most popular graphic novels in my library. I’m positive that Sisters will join it.