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I borrowed a paperback copy from the kids I babysit. The decision to review and all opinions are my own.
Author: Raina Telgemeier
Genre: Graphic Novel, Memoir, Middle Grade
Series: Smile, #3
Publication Date: September 17, 2019
Guts is about a middle-schooler who ends up with stomach issues. She doesn’t know why and it begins to take a toll on her physically and mentally. Not to mention she’s dealing with everyday middle-school drama: mean girls at school, best friend drama, homework, no privacy at home, etc.
I didn’t realize how relatable this book would be until I started reading it. Raina, the protagonist, has anxiety over food and others getting sick. As someone who has anxiety (and gets it worse about germs due to COVID) this book was exactly what I needed to read.
The overall plot was well done showing us how and when Rain began to have her troubles and carries us through as she overcomes them. It captures the teenage girl in a realistic light among life, school, fears, and growing up in general.
The characters were the best part, I think. Raina is the protagonist but she’s also the author as Guts is a memoir as well. Where were these books when I was growing up? I don’t know.
But the characters are well-done in the sense that you can relate to their middle-school issues. I also related to Raina’s parents as they did their best to be supportive and help Raina through her troubling times.
Being a graphic novel, this story is told through dialogue, minimal description, and lots of pretty pictures. The author’s art style is cool and makes it easier for young kids to read and comprehend. The overall topic of the story isn’t too heavy, despite it being about mental health. But mental health is something we need to normalize and this book captures it perfectly, showing kids they’re not alone when they feel this way.
Guts by Raina Telgemeier