New Release: SPEAK: The Graphic Novel

 SPEAK: The Graphic Novel (FSG, Feb 2018) by Laurie Halse Anderson, art by Emily Carroll

SPEAK: The Graphic Novel (FSG, Feb 2018)
by Laurie Halse Anderson, art by Emily Carroll

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 she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her.

Through her work on an art project, she is finally able to face what really happened that night: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her.

With powerful illustrations by Emily Carroll, Laurie Halse Anderson's SPEAK comes alive for new audiences and fans of the classic novel.

Select praise for SPEAK: The Graphic Novel:

Kirkus starred review: "A masterful graphic novel transformation... this visual adaptation takes readers outside Melinda’s head and sits them alongside her, seeing what she sees and feeling the importance and power of her desire to create art and express herself. Carroll’s stark black-and-white illustrations are exquisitely rendered, capturing the mood through a perfectly calibrated lens. With the rise of women finding their voices and speaking out about sexual assault in the media, this reworking of the enduring 1999 classic should be on everyone’s radar. Powerful, necessary, and essential."

School Library Journal starred review: "This potent retelling of the modern classic SPEAK blends words and images to create magic: a new representation of a teen whose voice is ripped from her, the battles she must wage to find it again, and the triumph of finally being able to speak out. Carroll’s grayscale artwork perfectly depicts the starkness of Melinda’s depression...This gripping, powerful work will introduce SPEAK to a brand-new audience and enthrall longtime fans."

Booklist starred review: "Carroll, well-known for her horror comics, does an excellent job of bringing the vignettes of Anderson’s novel to the graphic format...Carroll powerfully evokes moods with creeping, smudgy shadows; faces with missing eyes and mouths; and jagged panel borders. Grasping hands reach down from tree branches until trees and hands are tumbled together in a juddering haystack of overlapping lines. Those moments are striking, but they’re even more striking when set against scenes of Melinda’s quiet, isolated day-to-day reality, as well as her gradual growth and steps toward recovery. Carroll strikes a deft balance, gracefully juggling the acute terror of Melinda’s rape, the pernicious paranoia that follows her in its wake, the swirling rumors and bullying surrounding her, and glimmering moments of hope and comfort. With spellbinding artwork, this exceptional adaptation masterfully does justice to its source material while adding new depth and nuance.

Horn Book starred review: "In this new graphic novel adaptation of Anderson’s SPEAK - a powerful narrative of a freshman’s year of self-preservation after a brutal sexual assault - artist Carroll starkly renders protagonist Melinda’s pain and healing in black and white, expertly deploying visual perspective and tension to sharpen the emotional impact."

Shelf Awareness starred review: "The entire graphic novel is illustrated in grayscale, allowing the work to be as visually dark as its content. Strong lines, overlapping panels and clever use of blank space show Carroll's skill in creating Melinda's stifling, near-silent world. SPEAK: The Graphic Novel is hypnotizing and heart-breaking, with the kind of empowering finish that unshackles protagonist and readers alike."