STARRED REVIEW
September 10, 2019

Are You Listening?

illustrated by Tillie Walden
Review by

Young adults Lou and Bea meet up unexpectedly as they both travel alone—for various reasons—across West Texas. Whatever the reasons, they seem to be better off together than alone in this graphic novel that takes on tough issues of sexual abuse, loneliness, sexual identity and betrayal.

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Young adults Lou and Bea meet up unexpectedly as they both travel alone—for various reasons—across West Texas. Whatever the reasons, they seem to be better off together than alone in this graphic novel that addresses issues of sexual abuse, loneliness, sexual identity and betrayal.

The duo chat about their lives back home, which are often more frightening and uncertain than the ones they face ahead. Along the way, they face some odd occurrences—like a mysterious cat tagging along and the presence of two dark looming figures. Walden evocatively sets the mood and tone with deepening, ominous tones of black and white. Only the first few pages (presumably reality?), contain color, albeit in dark tones.

There are tears, fears, some raw language and evil foreboding in this graphic novel that will leave readers pondering and contemplating the power of human connection.

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Are You Listening?

Are You Listening?

illustrated by Tillie Walden
First Second
ISBN 9781626727731

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