Hachette Children's Group has snapped up rights to a graphic novel adaptation of Laurie Halse Anderson's critically acclaimed Speak, about a high school sexual assault.
Kate Agar, HCG editorial director, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights for the graphic novel with artwork by Emily Carroll from Macmillan US.
HCG will publish the graphic novel in trade paperback at £10.99 in August 2019, alongside a new cover for the novel (paperback, £7.99) which HCG has published since its first release in 1999. The eBook will also publish in August 2019 at £7.99. All formats will be published under the Hodder Children’s imprint.
Speak follows Melinda, an outcast at Merryweather High. "Something happened over the summer – something bad – and now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen. So what's the point in speaking at all?" The synopsis reads. "Through her work on an art project, Melinda is finally able to face what really happened that night. But before she can make peace with the ghosts of the past, she has to confront the reality of the present – and stop someone who still wishes to do her harm. Only words can save her. She can't stay silent. Not anymore."
Agar said: "As soon as I saw Emily Carroll’s masterful adaptation, I knew that we had to have this graphic novel edition sitting alongside Laurie Halse Anderson’s classic on our list. Sadly, the story at the heart of Speak remains as relevant and pertinent as it was 20 years ago, and the graphic novelisation is an amazing format in which to tell it."
Halse Anderson added: "I’m thrilled that the Speak graphic novel will be published by Hachette. As cultures around the world grapple with how to support victims of sexual violence, and prevent it, this book can help. It shows readers understand the trauma suffered by victims, and the challenges they face. Emily Carroll’s stunning artwork amplifies the message of the original novel and elevates it to another level. This graphic novel will open the doors to conversation and empower everyone struggling to speak up."