Review: Guts by Raina Telgemeier

Until it was announced, I never believed that Raina Telgemeier would pen another autobiography. After all, what was left to tell, after she had penned about her adolescent adventures following on from the loss of her two front teeth in Smile, or about the awkward relationship that she had with her younger sister in Sisters?

It turns out that there was something more. Guts is a prequel of sorts to Smile and tells about the author's final year at elementary school. Beautifully illustrated, this graphic novel depicts her struggles with anxiety that begin shortly after she experiences a tummy bug. After seeing another kid teased for puking at school, Raina begins to fear that this too could happen to her. And she becomes determined not to allow it to happen, which means being very, very particular about what she eats and about other things. She also has some problems with an outspoken girl from her class who isn't always very kind to her and some of the other kids. As her worries increase, so too does her tummy troubles.

Although intended for children, this one will be instantly relatable to readers of any age who have struggled with anxiety or with the difficulties of being a sensitive kid. I think the real magic of these books is while they speak perfectly to the target audience, they is also something in there for older readers as well. Sure, we may not be in fifth grade, but we remember only too well what it was like to have similar experiences. 

Highly recommended.

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