Speak Up!

Publisher: Quill Tree Books

Mia has a huge secret – she’s Elle-Q on-line, viral music star and inspiration to many teenagers. She sings about how she feels, which is what they feel too. However, in real life, Mia doesn’t have many friends and is bullied because she’s autistic. She likes to wear headphones to block out noise, and often sucks on her necklace, which others at her school find weird. When they make fun of her, she finds it tricky to talk back. Luckily, her best friend Charlie gets her, and they collaborate on Elle-Q’s music. Charlie writes the music and Mia the lyrics.

When there’s a local talent show, Charlie is desperate to enter. They stand a good chance of winning. But is Mia ready to show the world who she really is?

Written and illustrated in colour by an autistic creator, this graphic novel is accessible and deeply heart-warming. There’s a sub-plot about friendship and fitting in, which will resonate with any reader. There’s also a sub-plot about Mia’s mother, who just wants Mia to fit in, and gives her advice, such as looking people in the eye. This is shown to be unhelpful, and by the end, her mother – who only wanted the best for her – fully supports Mia being herself. Readers will be cheering Mia on!

Mae gan Mia gyfrinach fawr – ar-lein, hi ydy Elle-Q, seren bop feirol ac ysbrydoliaeth i lawer o bobl yn eu harddegau.

Fodd bynnag, mewn bywyd go iawn, does gan Mia ddim llawer o ffrindiau ac mae’n cael ei bwlio oherwydd ei bod hi’n awtistig. Yn ffodus, mae ei ffrind gorau Charlie yn ei deall hi i’r dim, ac maen nhw’n cydweithio ar gerddoriaeth Elle-Q.

Pan mae yna sioe dalent leol, mae Charlie’n awyddus iawn i gymryd rhan. Mae siawns dda ganddyn nhw o ennill. Ond ydy Mia’n barod i ddangos i’r byd pwy ydy hi go iawn?

Wedi’i ysgrifennu a’i ddarlunio gan berson awtistig, mae’r nofel graffig hon yn hawdd i’w darllen ac yn wirioneddol gynhesu’r galon. Mae yna is-blot am gyfeillgarwch a ffitio i mewn, a fydd yn gyfarwydd i unrhyw ddarllenydd.

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