Guts, Telgemeier’s latest book from Scholastic Books, puts you in Telgemeier’s shoes as she works through her fears and anxieties. It tells the story of Raina and her mother getting a horrible case of food poisoning. Even though they get better, Raina starts feeling very anxious about getting food poisoning again. This fear gets worse and worse, interfering with her life at school and with friends, and ultimately Raina discovers ways to manage and work through her fears.
Given Telgemeier’s popularity among young readers, Guts has a one million copy initial print run for good reason. Each of her books has received widespread critical acclaim for how their nuanced and personal explorations of childhood fears and anxieties. Her graphic memoirs are credited as one the reasons young readers have begun reading comic books and graphic novels again. “She’s a true comics superstar who essentially created a brand new category of comics in the American market: middle-grade graphic memoir,” said Gene Luen Yang, another acclaimed graphic novelist.
A page from Raina Telgemeier’s latest memoir (Scholastic Graphix)
Telgemeier’s Smile was well-received by critics and readers alike when it first debuted in 2010. And each of her books since then have reached a wider and wider audience. Her largely autobiographical works are so accessible and emotionally resonant that there are 13.5 million copies of them in print.
While her memoirs certainly target a younger demographic, her candid look at how fear has affected her life is sure to resonate with anyone who knows the struggle of growing up and learning to navigate the weird, unpredictable world. And much like Smile, Telgemeier’s expects Guts to fly off the shelves. Ellie Berger, Executive Vice President and President, Trade Publishing at Scholastic Books said of Telgemeier’s appeal:
Raina’s readership is wide ranging in age and appeals to all genders. The books’ accessibility and relatability are at the core of what makes Raina’s stories so popular.
“It takes guts to face your fears,” Telgemeier says in the trailer for Guts.
Featured images via American Libraries Magazine and Amazon