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The Greatest Thing - Sarah Winifred Searle

The Greatest Thing

By: Sarah Winifred Searle

Paperback | 3 May 2022

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This tender YA comic is perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier's Drama and Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham's Real Friends who are ready to graduate to their first teen graphic novel.

It's the first day of Grade Ten, and Winifred is going to reinvent herself. Now that her two best (and only) friends have transferred to a private school, Win must navigate high school on her own. Luckily, she isn't alone for long. In art class, she meets Oscar and April. They don't look or act like the typical teenagers in her town: they're creative, a little rebellious and seem comfortable in their own skin in a way that Win can only dream of.

But even though Winifred is breaking out of her shell, there's one secret she can't bear to admit to April and Oscar, or even to herself - and this lie threatens everything. Win needs to face her own truths, but she doesn't need to do it alone. Through the healing power of clandestine sleepovers, op-shopping and zine publishing, Win finds and accepts what it means to be herself.

'Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. This book will stay with you forever.' Jessica Walton, author of Stars In Their Eyes 'A heartfelt tale of loneliness, love and friendship. I couldn't put it down.' Alison Evans, award-winning author of Ida and Euphoria Kids

About the Author

Sarah Winifred Searle originally hails from spooky New England in the United States, but currently lives in sunny Perth, Australia with their beloved spouse and cat. Best known for vulnerable memoir and compassionate fiction, they write and draw comics and still like to make zines with their friends when they have time.
Industry Reviews
'Consider yourself made of stone if you read The Greatest Thing and don't feel a tsunami of emotions as Fred grapples with body image, panic attacks and finding the confidence to treat herself with the same kindness she so generously extends to everyone else. Searle's graphic novel focuses on acutely painful feelings, but instead of labelling them shameful, they are gently teased out into the light where they can be explored with tenderness and honesty. The illustrations are beautifully executed and full of subtlety.' Sydney Morning Herald

'Sarah Winifred Searle's comics look the way I wish the world did. They combine raw emotions with gorgeous artwork to create stories full of feeling, intention, and heart. Give this book to the teens in your life.' Tillie Walden, author of Spinning and Are You Listening?

'A heartfelt tale of loneliness, love and friendship. I couldn't put Winifred's beautiful story down. It will stay with you long after you've turned the final page.' Alison Evans, award-winning author of Ida and Euphoria Kids

'It's beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. This is one of those books that stays with you forever. It made my heart so full and happy. I love Win, Oscar and April - they're so real, and they're all dealing with so much. I saw a lot of myself in Win, so when I was cheering her on I felt like I was cheering my younger self on, too. All of the characters in this book are working out who they are, getting through school, navigating friendships and romantic relationships, dealing with mental illness and health issues, and doing their best to survive. And they do! They connect over a zine project, and the page where April explains how to make a zine is LOVELY and PERFECT, not to mention the zine itself (a zine in a graphic novel? YES!!!). I've laughed and cried, and my heart's been on a journey, and all I want to know is ... what happens next?' Jessica Walton, author of Stars In Their Eyes

'Raw and beautiful. A story that finds the tiny holes in your heart, tears them wide open, and puts in hope. Searle's art and mastery of the medium shines. I wish I had this book as a teen.' Colleen AF Venable, author of Kiss Number 8

'A beautiful use of the graphic novel format ... tempers emotionally intense content with soothing pastel tones and intimate, close-up shots of the characters supporting each other and accessing professional help ... An homage to the friendships that are impactful even when they are fleeting.' Books+Publishing

'Set in an era when landline phones were still in use, the story explores sexuality, mental health, and the messiness that goes with understanding of self in ways that will resonate with contemporary readers.' Kirkus Reviews

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