It's important to talk about tough topics and Raina Telgemeier's latest graphic novel transforms discussion about gastrointestinal troubles. The Telgemeier household is plagued by stomach flu for days at the beginning of Raina's autobiographical story and that sets the stage for a 4th grade year filled with vomit, diarrhea, farting, gas and other bathroom issues. The boys in fourth grade are obsessed with grossing everyone out and the girls are becoming increasingly secretive. Raina's anxieties about her own stomach are exacerbated by the demands of school, friendship woes and a lack of privacy at home. Raina and her parents start meeting with a child therapist who helps Raina recognize her fears and things start to turn around.
Guts does a fantastic job of calling out fears and how to overcome them in a sincere and funny way while de-stigmatizing therapy. Kids and adults will gain much from Raina's story, dedicated to "anyone who feels afraid."