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A Silent Voice vols. 1-3 by Yoshitoki Ooima

First of all, I want to thank YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens Selection Committee for selecting Yoshitoki Ooima’s A Silent Voice as one of the Top 10 Great Graphic Novels of their 2016 list. (The whole series counts as one entry, in case you questioning my math.) There’s a good chance that I would have read this series eventually because one of my anime club officers suggested it, but it moved to the top of my reading list as part of the Hub Reading Challenge and boy am I glad.

A Silent Voice is a moving story about bullying, forgiveness, and redemption. When hearing impaired Shoko enters ruffian Shoya’s elementary school class, the students must deal with some changes to their everyday routine. Shoya, in particular, does not handle the disruption very well.

A daredevil who gets his kicks by jumping off bridges, Shoya is a physical, live life out loud kind of a guy. Since Shoko can’t speak, he can’t figure it out and that pisses him off. For Shoya, this means acting out physically with Shoko as his target. And so the bullying begins.

Ooima’s depiction of Shoko’s treatment is humbling. Shoya is so mean to Shoko, the whole class is. It’s the kind of mean that breaks your hearts and makes you sob and sob and sob for all the bullied people everywhere. It’s enough to make you want to quit the book, if anything because Shoko is so unwavering, so persistent in her kindness despite all the unkindness. But you can’t quit the book because you really want to see how it pans out. And so you do. NOTE: Slight spoilers follow…do not move on if you care about being spoiled.

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It’s that time again…

It’s that time when I post something on my blog! Talk about good intentions! No, really it’s time once again for YALSA’s annual HUB Challenge in which I attempt to read 25 books over a fiveish month time period. The 25 books I can do, the writing about them not so good. I’m not going to make any promises but I hope you’ll check in to see how I’m doing. Wish me luck!!


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