Monday, April 9, 2018

Speak: The Graphic Novel - Laurie Halse Anderson and Emily Carroll

Title: Speak: The Graphic Novel
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson and Emily Carroll
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux (Macmillan), 2018 (Hardcover)
Length: 384 pages
Genre: Young Adult; Realistic Fiction, Graphic Novel
Started: April 8, 2018
Finished: April 8, 2018

From the inside cover:

The critically acclaimed award-winning modern classic Speak is now a stunning graphic novel.

"Speak up for yourself - we want to know what you have to say." From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless - an outcast - because of something that happened over the summer. Now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen. So what's the point of talking? Through her work on an art project, Melinda is finally able to face what really happened that night. But before she can make peace with the ghosts of the past, she has to confront the reality of the present - and stop someone who still wishes to do her harm. Only words can save her. She can't stay silent. Not anymore.

With powerful illustrations by Eisner Award-winning artist Emily Carroll, Speak: The Graphic Novel comes alive for new audiences and fans of the original.

I read Speak when I first started teaching, over a decade ago (before I even started this blog); it's what started my love affair with Laurie Halse Anderson's work as a whole.

Speak is such an influential novel, we still have it on reading lists for high schools today, even though it came out in 1999 when I was in high school. It allows for much-needed conversations about sexual assault and rape, more timely now than ever in the wake of the MeToo movement.

I was incredibly pleased to learn that Speak was coming out in graphic novel format, it only makes it even more accessible to new generations of readers. The artist brilliantly illustrates Melinda's struggles through her first year of high school, and the visual format allows for some really creative choices for expressing the book's themes.

If you've already read Speak, you need to pick up the graphic novel version; it serves as a nice compliment to the original. If you haven't read Speak yet, just go read both of these.

Thoughts on the cover:
Similar to the original novel's cover, you have a fraction of Melinda's face mingled with a tree. I like the consistency of it and the nod to the original.

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