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Friday, August 24, 2018

Review and Friday Quotes: Speak---A Graphic Novel


Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rose City ReaderShare the opening quote from the book.
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e Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's VoiceFind a quote from page 56.

This is the book I'm reading right now---


Title: Speak: a graphic novel by Laurie Halse Anderson, illustrated by Emily Carroll

Book Beginnings:

Friday 56:

Review and comments: I read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson over ten years ago. It was one of the first Printz award recipients and when I became a high school librarian I wanted to back fill my knowledge of YA Lit so I read as many of the award books as I could get my hands on at the time. Speak was in a league of its own with such a relevant and heartbreaking story of a young teenage girl, Melinda, having something traumatic happen to her at a party before freshman year. Her reaction to the trauma was to call the police which got a bunch of people in trouble. This caused people to treat her like a peria at school. She was so traumatized she couldn't speak. She spends her whole freshman year in silent torture. Her grades suffer as she sinks into serious depression. Not until the end of the book do we learn what kind of trauma she experienced at the party. By then we learn the value of speaking up in defense of oneself.

Speak: the graphic novel is a wonderful retelling of the original story. In fact, maybe because it has been so many years since I read the original that I think this, a graphic novel is a perfect medium to tell the story. Emily Carroll's illustrations fill in for words and the reader can really experience the loneliness and depression that Melinda is experiencing.

The graphic novel is a bit different than the novel, at least in my memory. The parents seem meaner and more distracted in this version. The art teacher is weirder. The exclusion by past friends more profound. But the impact of the drawings may have brought those aspects of the story forward.

The snapshots are from pages two and 56. In the first snapshot Melinda is on the school bus on her first day of high school. Already the bad treatment from classmates has begun and her self confidence is down: "I have seven new notebooks, a skirt I hate, and a stomachache." The snapshot of page 56 shows her at dinner with her parents. "Dinner Theater: My parents make threatening noises, turning dinner into badly acted performance art."

Can you relate? Have you ever experienced a time when people misunderstood you and no matter what you did or said nothing helped? I can. This book is for everyone who needs to learn it is okay to speak up!

It took me less than a day to read this 350 page graphic novel. I just tore through it. I highly recommend you read it and then go back and read/re-read the original.




21 comments:

  1. I recently read Speak for the first time as it had been sitting on TBR mountain for years. I should look for the graphic novel and compare my reactions. This week I am featuring Second Chance on Two Love Lane by Kieran Kramer from my review stack. Happy reading!

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    1. I think that the juxtaposition in time would be good. I've forgotten much of the original.

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  2. I don't usually read graphic novels, but this story might lend itself to that format. Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

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  3. It does look like the graphic novel format is perfect for this story, thanks for sharing.

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  4. I've not read Speak, but I'm really interested in this graphic novel version of it. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for sharing! Hope you have a great weekend! :)

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  5. This looks like a really good read. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. I haven't read any graphic novels, but this looks good. I should try it.

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  7. I am glad the graphic novel version turned out so well. I read the novel years ago and it made a huge impression on me. It's one of those stories I wish could be required reading.

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    1. Yes, I agree. But as soon as something is required kids no longer like it. with this graphic edition a new generation will find their way to the story.

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  8. Really interesting to see the gway the graphic novel format is being used!

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  9. The original book, albeit only a little over 200 pages long, has been read an amazing half a million times, according to the Goodreads stats., with the graphic version hot on its heels.

    Whilst not a book I would probably choose for myself, I applaud the powerful message it obviously conveys and admire the fact that the writing transcends multiple generations, adapting well to changing formats.

    Graphic novels are very popular in the book department of the charity shop where I work and I am in constant awe of the amazing artists who have such great vision and skill.

    Thanks for sharing and Happy Reading :)

    Yvonne
    xx

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    1. Wow. You did some homework. Thanks for sharing here.

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  10. I listened to this book on audiobook a few years ago and enjoyed it. See the YA fantasy novel I'm featuring at Girl Who Reads

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  11. I haven't read Speak but it sounds like it's a powerful and emotional read! :)

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    1. It is. It was published in 1999, I think, so this book should catch a new generation and maybe cause them to go back and read the original.

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  12. Interesting to hear your thoughts on the graphic novel's interpretation of the original book.

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  13. Oh wow, I didn't know this one was turned into a graphic. It's such a powerful read and no doubt it is in this format.

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  14. I've heard that graphic novels take a long time to put together, so starting from a powerful story that has already been published makes sense. I know someone who this might be a great gift for. Thanks.

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  15. I read Speak for the first time early this year and I would love to read the graphic novel version - I love the illustrators work and it looks like it’s worked really well for the story! I might have to buy it if I can find it! Great review 😊

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