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The Greatest Thing

The Greatest Thing

Author: Sarah Winifred Searle

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Published: May 2022

The teen years are a stressful time for many: the pressures of school, the exploration of who you uniquely are, and the dark thoughts that can sometimes accompany this layered journey of discovery. In their graphic novel The Greatest Thing, Sarah Winifred Searle perfectly captures not only the loneliness and insecurity of being 15, but also the love and joy. Based on their 15-year-old self, the book’s authenticity and rawness is realised through beautiful, well-crafted illustrations.

Such difficult themes as eating disorders, mental health struggles and the questioning of one’s sexuality are delicately handled against a backdrop of strong, supportive friendships. Searle’s writing explores the complexities of trying to balance one’s own challenges with those of friends. The honesty and hope in the story linger long after the final page is turned.

The Greatest Thing will speak to many young people not only with its relatable topics, but also through its emotive, accessible artwork. Teenagers may find peace and hope in these pages, while adults may learn a thing or two.

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