Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson, artwork by Emily Carroll (9780374300289)
The original novel Speak came out almost twenty years ago and is such a masterpiece of teen writing that I hesitated to read it in graphic novel form. Somehow though, the graphic novel captures the novel with a darkness that is beautiful and troubling at the same time. It has the same tone, the same damage on the page. Sadly it is just as relevant today during the #metoo movement as it was two decades ago.
Removing the bulk of Anderson’s skilled text had to be a gargantuan task in itself. The result is a pared down book that loses nothing of the powerful story. The imagery of trees plays throughout the book as does the use of dark and light on the page. It is a haunting and haunted book of a girl unable to speak about what happened to her. This new version will make the story more accessible for those teens who enjoy a great graphic novel rather than a great text novel. Either way, you can’t go wrong.
It’s a groundbreaking novel made into one of the most powerful graphic novels I have read. Get your hands on this one, get it into the hands of teens. Appropriate for ages 13+.
Reviewed from copy provided by Farrar Straus Giroux.