In Raina Telgemeier’s Sisters, Raina and her little sister Amara’s relationship is under the microscope. Despite having always prayed for a little sister, Raina realizes as soon as her sister comes home with her parents that things may not exactly have worked out as she planned. Her sister is a fussy baby and often moody toddler who likes to play by herself. Plus, Raina herself has to learn to share space and time — and of course, she struggles in the beginning.
The sisters squabble over the years until a three-week family road trip from California to Colorado changes everything. Interestingly, this graphic novel alternates between past and present, following the girls’ relationship from childhood and also the road trip in the present.
I read this right after Guts by Telgemeier and I found this one even more immersive. There’s something about reading a good graphic novel that makes you feel almost ensconced in the scene — especially if you’re a visual person. As a big sister myself, I could understand Raina’s frustrations with Amara, but readers eventually also see things from Amara’s point of view.
The sibling drama and idiosyncrasies are funny on the page and I loved the road trip feel of the entire book. As their mother drives from California, everything from choosing seats in the car, to picking out snacks, listening to music from a Walkman and even sleeping in motels made me long for a fun road trip.
In the story, Raina’s parents also seem to be experiencing an rough patch in their marriage and Raina and her sister worry about what that will mean for their family. Finally, both girls struggle to fit in with their large extended family — which I could totally relate with, especially at that middle-school age.
Raina Telgemeier’s Sisters is a sweet ode to sisterhood and how tumultuous sibling relationships can be, particularly when we’re young and still figuring each other out. Although the focus is always on both sisters, this book also centers on a road trip from California to Colorado, and Telgemeier does not skimp on road trip details. As a result, Sisters is an engaging portrayal of family adventure and mishaps with a dash of heart and plenty of sisterhood.
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Have you read this book or anything else by Raina Telgemeier? I’ve been enjoying reading through this list of graphic novels I made last week. What are your favorite graphic novels and road trip books?