Raina Telgemeier’s highly anticipated new young-adult graphic novel Guts did not disappoint, topping the Publishers Weekly sales charts for books of any genre (beating out even Margaret Atwood and Stephen King!) the final week of September. It has earned wide praise for its frank portrayal of a young girl’s anxiety, tummy troubles, friend issues, and more.
Here’s 11-year-old Elizabeth Hanson’s review, in Q&A form:
What a funny name for a book! What is Guts about?
Guts is a story about Raina, based on a true story from her childhood. She gets a stomach bug and is not the same after that. Guts to me is an amazing story, that I can slightly relate to because I’m scared of throwing up, just not to her level.
What other challenges does Raina face?
Of course, her main challenge was her fear of throwing up, but there are other concerns with mean girls, a friend moving away — you know, little things.
How did the protagonist and her family deal with the challenges she faced?
They took Raina to therapy, as most people would, until she felt a little more comfortable.
How does the graphic-novel format contribute to the telling of the story?
I always personally thought that pictures always made things a lot better. Unfortunately, sometimes, the pages were a little bit confusing, and I’m 11.
Do you recommend this book?
I say “yes” to most all people ages 7+, but if they are much younger, they might have a hard time understanding parts. I’m not saying they shouldn’t read it, I’m saying you might have to explain a few things. I think everyone can enjoy this book, but especially girls ages 8-12, just because this is Raina Telgemeier, and I started liking her books around 8, and still love them a lot. Some teens might think it’s too “kiddish” and that they are “too cool.” I personally disagree, and think it’s fine for all ages (I know if she writes another one in five years, when I’m 16, I’ll read it.)