What Am I Reading – Chapter Thirty-Two

Hi Everyone,

May is finally here! What are you looking forward to this month? For me, I’m excited for the nicer (and more consistent) weather and to go on vacation to Milwaukee later on! Yes, I’ll be visiting some bookstores there.

In addition, I’m ecstatic to show you the books that I’m reading and writing reviews for this month. This includes the graphic novel that I started reading recently.

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier is a memoir of the author’s relationship with her sister. When Raina was little, she couldn’t wait to have a sibling. But once her sister Amara comes into the picture, things don’t get off to a great start. Amara is cute, yet she is grouchy, throws temper tantrums at times, and prefers to play by herself. Their relationship doesn’t improve much over the years, but when a baby brother arrives and later, when something feels off with their parents, they realize that they must figure out how to get along. This story evolves over a three-week period during a road trip from San Francisco to a family reunion in Colorado.

This is apparently the second in the “Smile” series, which are based on Telgemeier’s own life while growing up. The first in that series is Smile. Reading Sisters has made me want to read Smile at some point because the former is fantastic!

I’m halfway through the graphic novel, and I love the story. The relationship between Raina and Amara feels 100% real with all of its up and downs. To be fair, I may be biased in this since I had a similar one with my older sister when we were growing up. Though the book is told through Raina’s perspective, it shows both sides of the coin when it comes to her and Amara getting along. When they were younger, Raina offered to do stuff together with Amara like drawing and dancing to music, the latter just flat out refused. At the same time, once Amara becomes interested in drawing animals and going to the zoo, Raina doesn’t seem to care as much.

The other strong point of this graphic novel is Telgemeier’s illustrations. It goes into flashbacks frequently, and this is represented through the sepia tone that’s on those particular pages. I also enjoyed seeing the facial expressions on various characters. It often relies on big emotions because it’s told from the viewpoint of a preteen. For example, when Raina asks Amara what she’s drawing, the latter gives the biggest glare I’ve ever seen in a graphic novel. It helps that the word “glare” is present on that panel for those who have trouble reading facial expressions.

This is my first Telgemeier title, and I can see why she is a leading name in the world of juvenile graphic novels. I can’t wait to continue reading Sisters!

We have now come to the end of the thirty-second chapter of “What Am I Reading?”

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Published by emilymalek

I work at two public libraries in southeast Michigan, and I facilitate a book club for one of them. I also hold a Bachelor's degree in History and Theatre from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI; a Master's degree in Library and Information Science from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI; and a Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration also from Wayne. In my downtime, I love hanging out with friends, listening to music (like classic rock and K-pop), and watching shows like "Monty Python's Flying Circus"!

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