The Greatest Thing
The Greatest Thing
By Sarah Winifred Searle. Published by First Second.
Softcover, 352 pages, Colour, 2022.
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 sophomore year, and now that Winifred’s two best (and only) friends have transferred to a private school, she must navigate high school on her own.
But she isn’t alone for long. In art class, she meets two offbeat students, Oscar and April. The three bond through clandestine sleepovers, thrift store shopping, and zine publishing. Winifred is finally breaking out of her shell, but there’s one secret she can’t bear to admit to April and Oscar, or even to herself—and this lie is threatening to destroy her newfound friendships.
With breathtaking art and honest storytelling, rising star Sarah Winifred Searle delivers a heartfelt story about love, friendship, and self-acceptance.
"Sarah Winifred Searle's comics look the way I wish the world did. She combines 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?
"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
"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
"An author’s note explains the balance of memoir and fiction, and the personal elements certainly render Winifred as a painfully realistic, relatable, and memorable character. Wordless panels carry the story, conveying despair or ebullience with gestures, tinting, and shadows." —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"[...] A visually and emotionally satisfying read about escaping depression and loneliness through art-making."—Publisher's Weekly
"In her crisp, precise art, Searle deftly depicts the emotions of her characters, largely through their expressive body language; Winifred’s slumped shoulders as she curls into herself are easily worth a thousand words... this is a sensitive, compassionate portrayal of teenage mental health struggles that emphasizes the importance of community, self-acceptance, and finding the courage to ask for help. —Booklist