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Exhibition Drawn to Purpose

Raina Telgemeier (b. 1977). Smile, 2009–2010. Published by Graphix, an imprint of Scholastic Inc. Photocopied and hand-assembled minicomic. Gift of the artist, 2009. Small Press Expo Collection, Serial and Government Publications Division, Library of Congress (011.01.00). Copyright © 2010 by Raina Telgemeier. Used by permission.

In the Beginning. . .

Two pages in Raina Telgemeier's autobiographical minicomic capture life-changing moments when she tripped, fell, and severely injured her two front teeth when in the sixth grade. Years later, after completing a BFA at the School of Visual Art in New York, this San Francisco-born artist developed an entire graphic memoir that chronicled the mishap and the painful recovery and personal growth that followed. Spanning middle school to high school years with the attendant challenges of adolescence, Smile won impressive awards and acclaim as a work of young adult literature. More significantly, this title struck a chord with teens, tweens, and their parents, winning Telgemeier a huge readership, for which she continues to create.