Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

January 25, 2015 Graphic Novels, Reviews 2

A happy braces and headphone wearing smiley face is glared at by an angry frowning one on a medium blue backgroundSisters is my first look at Raina Telgemeier’s work. Although this graphic novel is put out by Scholastic for the elementary / middle school crowd there’s plenty to recommend it for adults. Set in the not so distant past where a Sony Walkman is a huge present and mom drives a VW bus, Raina’s look at one summer trip to a family reunion is worth reading. The themes are universal, the emotions spot on.

Kids reading Sisters will recognize themselves while adults will read what isn’t shown on the page in this awkward age memoir. Everything is changing around Raina but her reluctant love for her younger sister. Outwardly light, the signs of trouble surround her. Much of that will resonate adults  but will fly over the heads of many young readers.

My favorite aspect of Sisters was the layering of idealism. There’s the way Raina thinks having a sister will be, the way her mother thinks a cross country drive will be, the expectations both have for a family reunion – and then there’s the reality. It’s not a crushing disappointment so much as a realignment of expectation. Nothing is the way you expect but it’s still ultimately wonderful.

Cartoon panel of Raina surrounded by her baby sister's things in her room, in distress

Final Assessment: Highly recommended graphic novel about sibling love and rivalry. A+

Source: Copy provided for review.


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Meoskop's first non-compulsory book review was in 1973. Although a hit with the 3rd grade, concerns raised by the administration necessitated an extended hiatus. Reviews resumed in 1985 but the concerns are ongoing.

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2 Responses to “Sisters by Raina Telgemeier”

  1. Anna Richland

    Favorite author/illustrator in our house. DRAMA was a little old for my 9 yr old, b/c it focuses a lot on middle school peer relations in the theatre group, but SMILE was awesome! All three are the same girl’s story, based basically on the author’s life.

    Raina T. also did the illustrated versions of Babysitters Club, if those were a favorite long ago.