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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Guts is the third graphic memoir by cartoonist Raina Telgemeier, author and illustrator of Smile and Drama. The book dramatizes her struggles to overcome her fears and anxieties about bathroom issues, such contracting the stomach flu or needing to move her bowels urgently. There's frequent talk of poop and vomit, plus a couple of illustrations of people in the act.
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What's the story?
As GUTS begins, Raina catches the stomach flu and vomits. She doesn't think much of the incident until she starts feeling sick at school for no particular reason. Soon, she can't stop thinking about needing to use the bathroom and fearing that she'll be sick. It gets to the point where she is having trouble concentrating on her schoolwork. She starts to see a therapist and learns techniques for calming herself down, which also help her at school and among her friends.
Is it any good?
Everyone uses the bathroom, and this funny, moving graphic novel demonstrates what happens when a person gives too much thought to the process. With a sharp eye for design and a discerning ear for dialogue, Raina Telgemeier chronicles in Guts her struggles with anxiety and digestion issues during elementary and middle school. As an illustrator, she captures the big gestures that kids make during those years, giving the characters an expressiveness that ably transmits their internal feelings. As a writer, she finds believable plot twists and touching character moments. Young readers will relate to Raina's troubles, which are treated with sensitivity and humor.
Guts is another winner from a deservedly popular literary creator -- insightful, poignant, and funny.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Guts describes treatments for anxiety and stomach issues. What are some ways to reduce stress and get a handle on anxiety? What are some activities that cause stress?
Is talking to a therapist about your problems "normal"? What can a professional therapist offer that a friend or family member might not?
Why are bathroom activities so embarrassing to most people? How does the media and commerce play upon people's fears and insecurities regarding natural processes?
- Author: Raina Telgemeier
- Illustrator: Raina Telgemeier
- Genre: Graphic Novel
- Topics: Friendship, Great Girl Role Models, Middle School, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Non-Fiction
- Publisher: Graphix
- Publication date: September 17, 2019
- Number of pages: 144
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 1, 2020
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