Aww, Sisters was so adorable, you guys! The companion to Raina Telgemeier’s Eisner-award winning graphic novel Smile tells the story of Raina and her sister Amara, and how their relationship developed during a road trip to attend a family reunion in Colorado.
Raina is the older sister in the story, and when she’s very young, she decides that she wants a little sister to play with. Soon enough, she gets her wish, and her parents bring home a new baby girl. After having to be convinced that the new baby really is a girl, as well as dealing with the disappointment that their names won’t match (Raina was pulling for her sister to be named “Dana”), Raina starts to adjust to life with her new little sister, which isn’t exactly what she expected.
Sisters switches between past and present seamlessly, ultimately leading to both timelines coming together by the story’s end. Raina and Amara are completely different people, but they’re still able to have that coveted super-close sister relationship that siblings strive for. There were also several laugh-out-loud moments in the book, which I really enjoyed—I’m always a fan of unexpected humor showing up, especially in media that’s aimed toward younger audiences, where it’d be easy to brush humor off to the side.
One of the things that I enjoyed most about Sisters was the fact that it was accessible to younger kids, but it wasn’t just a quick throwaway read about a family on a road trip. It also dealt with some more serious issues, such as divorce, self-esteem, and being your own person, things that many kids are faced with at young ages. While looking for quotes about introducing kids to comics, I found this one from comic book writer and artist Paul Pope:
“When you write for kids, it’s not that you have to bowdlerize it, dumb it down so that it’s around the level of Teletubbies or something. But you can deal with the real issues in a way that’s real for kids.”
Telgemeier does a great job of doing exactly what Pope mentions above, and I think that helps Sisters to be able to resonate with more than just one age group; it can be enjoyed by readers of any age, and that’s really cool.
Although I do have a pretty wonderful younger brother, I don’t have a sister, and reading Sisters really made me wish that I had an Amara to my Raina, or vice versa. If you’re looking for a fun, endearing read with relatable characters to put a smile on your face, definitely check out Sisters—and be sure to check for snakes underneath the front car seat.
4 out of 5 stars
Allison Racicot is the Audiobook Reviewer at Girls in Capes. She’s a recent graduate of Emerson College in Boston, and has a degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing. She spends too much time listening to podcasts and getting overly attached to fictional characters.