Honest and encouraging, this will get young storytellers started—and perhaps leave them wishing for more.

SHARE YOUR SMILE

RAINA'S GUIDE TO TELLING YOUR OWN STORY

A guide on how to distill the extraordinary from your own life and find a story to tell.

The unabashed Telgemeier (Smile, 2010, etc.) once more shares her personal experiences on storytelling in a how-to book on finding your own story. Explaining that for her, “the process of creating Smile was therapeutic,” Telgemeier coaxes readers to think about their own experiences by posing questions that will encourage closer looks into themselves, their environments, their families, their personal travel and school stories, their sources of inspiration, and even those supernatural elements that fascinate them. Although the book focuses heavily on creating stories from personal experience, the skills developed are meant to naturally translate into other types of storytelling. By beginning in the known world, Telgemeier gives readers a solid foundation from which to launch their artistic exploration. The book focuses mostly on the brainstorming process, offering lists of questions with space for answers, but it also provides other spaces to write full stories and to storyboard ideas. Readers also get useful tips, such as starting with loose shapes when drawing faces, with step-by-step instructions on how to illustrate faces and facial expressions. It’s very much a place to start rather than a full-on manual, and it does not offer a bibliography for kids who want to pursue graphic storytelling further.

Honest and encouraging, this will get young storytellers started—and perhaps leave them wishing for more. (Nonfiction novelty. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-35384-6

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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This introduction to puberty may be particularly helpful for girls looking ahead to that stage.

THE GIRL'S BODY BOOK

A growing-up guide for preteen girls.

This puberty-navigation guide covers girls’ bodily changes, body care, health, relationships with family and friends, staying safe, and handling stress. In many cases the author, a registered nurse, has covered the same material as she did in various editions of this title as well as The Boy’s Body Book. This girls’ book skips the topics of sleep and performance-enhancement drugs in favor of a section on eating disorders. As in the boys’ book, controversial subjects are addressed generally and conservatively if at all. She includes a rough diagram of female reproductive organs and tells her young readers about menstruation and visiting a gynecologist but not how babies are made. She talks about having boys as friends, saying “Don’t put pressure on yourself to call any of your close friendships ‘dating.’ ” The strength of this title is its emphasis on good grooming, healthy living habits, and positive relationships. Added for this fourth edition is new material on interacting with adults, personal empowerment, body language, reputations, and “learning disabilities,” helpful information for the growing segment of the preteen population identified with cognitive and social learning differences. Tallardy’s cartoon illustrations show girls and adults of varying ethnicities and provide a cheerful accompaniment.

This introduction to puberty may be particularly helpful for girls looking ahead to that stage. (resources, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-60433-714-3

Page Count: 148

Publisher: Cider Mill Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2017

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An apt choice for collections that already have stronger alternatives, such as R.J. Palacio's Wonder (2012).

UGLY

A memoir of the first 14 years in the life of Australian Robert Hoge, born with stunted legs and a tumor in the middle of his face.

In 1972, Robert is born, the youngest of five children, with fishlike eyes on the sides of his face, a massive lump in place of his nose, and malformed legs. As baby Robert is otherwise healthy, the doctors convince his parents to approve the first of many surgeries to reduce his facial difference. One leg is also amputated, and Robert comes home to his everyday white, working-class family. There's no particular theme to the tale of Robert's next decade and a half: he experiences school and teasing, attempts to participate in sports, and is shot down by a girl. Vignette-driven choppiness and the lack of an overarching narrative would make the likeliest audience be those who seek disability stories. However, young Robert's ongoing quest to identify as "normal"—a quest that remains unchanged until a sudden turnaround on the penultimate page—risks alienating readers comfortable with their disabilities. Brief lyrical moments ("as compulsory as soggy tomato sandwiches at snack time") appeal but are overwhelmed by the dry, distant prose dominating this autobiography.

An apt choice for collections that already have stronger alternatives, such as R.J. Palacio's Wonder (2012). (Memoir. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-425-28775-0

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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