By Telgemeier, Raina
Graphic Novel, Paperback
Publisher: Scholastic Graphix
I wish this book had been around when I was turning thirteen, and suffered with a debilitating “nervous” stomach that knocked about a year and a half from my life.
Guts is an autobiographical graphic novel by Raina Telgemeier, whose work can offer comfort to children and teenagers — particularly girls — who mistakenly believe their lives are over when stress becomes overwhelming.
Raina is a ten year old child who must always focus on the question, “How will my stomach react to (fill in the blank)?” She has an extreme fear of vomiting, which makes eating especially difficult.
Raina’s story involves tense relationships with other kids and, fortunately, calmer relationships with people who can help her. She makes quiet progress in dealing with her condition, and gradually learns basic things about others that put her life into perspective.
If you know a young girl with severe gastrointestinal symptoms due to stress, this book might be for her. Never fear, Guts has occasional comic relief (see pages 100 and 101) that nearly all young sufferers can giggle about together. They’ll want to do it discreetly, though.