Published by Graphix
Summary: After a bout with stomach flu, fourth-grader Raina struggles with anxiety about getting sick again. Her stomach often feels upset, and she worries about germs when a friend or family member falls ill. When fifth grade starts, she starts missing school and being scared to eat. Raina’s mom takes her to a therapist where she slowly starts to feel comfortable talking about the stresses in her life–not only food and getting sick, but difficulties with friends, a crowded home, and some concerns about going through puberty. The therapist teaches her some breathing and grounding techniques, and by the end of the school year, Raina has overcome her shyness enough to share them with her class. She also finally admits to some of her friends that she’s seeing a therapist, and learns that this is more common than she thought. A final author’s note reveals adult Raina’s lifelong struggles with anxiety and digestive issues, encouraging kids to talk about their feelings. 224 pages; grades 3-6.
Pros: Another winning memoir from Raina Telgemeier that will help kids deal with their own insecurities and to see that everyone is struggling with something. As usual, the art is top-notch, with plenty of shades of green and swirling words to show Raina’s anxieties around getting sick.
Cons: You could slap Raina Telgemeier’s name on a 1993 Chilton’s car repair manual, and kids would be clamoring to check it out of the library. Who am I to start finding fault?