I read Speak as a high school freshman. It’s a painful and powerful story, that has stuck with me for over ten years. Anderson is amazing, and while Speak can be difficult to read, it’s necessary. When I saw the graphic novel on the shelf at Barnes and Noble, I knew that it had to come home with me.
Speak follows Melinda through her freshman year of high school. She is a social pariah because she called the cops at a party over the summer. But no one knows what she went through, why she had to call the police, even if she didn’t say anything.
This book gets into some difficult and painful topics, but it’s so worth it. The graphic novel format really helped, because a big focus in school for Melinda is her art class. Being able to see what she’s creating made the book even more immersive, and felt more personal.
I can’t get over how powerful this was. It hit some stressful notes, but I think it’s well worth it. If you worry that it’s too much, I suggest starting with the book not the graphic novel. Both are difficult but powerful, and I think the graphic novel is worth it.
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