Speak Up! (Paperback)

Speak Up! By Rebecca Burgess, Rebecca Burgess (Illustrator) Cover Image

Speak Up! (Paperback)


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For fans of Click and Brave, this touching coming-of-age middle grade graphic novel debut follows an autistic girl who finds friendship where she least expects it and learns to express her true self in a world where everyone defines her by her differences.

Twelve-year-old Mia is just trying to navigate a world that doesn’t understand her true autistic self. While she wishes she could stand up to her bullies, she’s always been able to express her feelings through singing and songwriting, even more so with her best friend, Charlie, who is nonbinary, putting together the best beats for her.

Together, they've taken the internet by storm; little do Mia’s classmates know that she’s the viral singer Elle-Q! But while the chance to perform live for a local talent show has Charlie excited, Mia isn’t so sure.

She’ll have to decide whether she’ll let her worries about what other people think get in the way of not only her friendship with Charlie, but also showing everyone, including the bullies, who she is and what she has to say.

Rebecca Burgess is the author of the forthcoming middle-grade graphic novel Speak Up.

Rebecca Burgess is the author of the forthcoming middle-grade graphic novel Speak Up.

"A touching look at one girl's struggle with autism and bullying, and a charming testament to finding the inner strength to speak up in one’s own voice." — Tyler Page, creator of Button Pusher

"A loving depiction of one young person’s experience of autism...The full-color art is cute and expressive...A fun, sweet story about being oneself." 

Kirkus Reviews

"Intimate and inlaid with nuance, an empowering look at self-acceptance, accommodation, and masking via the lens of one autistic experience." — Publishers Weekly

"In this accessible graphic novel, Mia's increasing eagerness to be—and to advocate for—herself is encouraging, as is the casual diversity among other characters. The digital illustrations hold interest, especially at moments of strong emotion—and when Mia feels free as Elle-Q." — Horn Book Magazine

"The artwork really pops, with expressive illustrations that spill over the panels and colors that brighten the page. A heartwarming and fun graphic novel, recommended where realistic fiction is popular." — School Library Journal