The Greatest Thing (Paperback)
A 2023 Lambda Literary Award Finalist
A 2023 Children's Book Council Young Adult Favorite
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, Sarah Winifred Searle delivers a heartfelt story about love, friendship, and self-acceptance.
About the Author
Sarah Winifred Searle originally hails from spooky New England but currently lives in sunny Boorloo (Perth, Australia). Their first award-winning graphic novels were Sincerely, Harriet (Graphic Universe, 2019) and Patience & Esther: An Edwardian Romance (Iron Circus Comics, 2021). Their First Second books are The Greatest Thing (2021), Ruined (2023), and their upcoming vampire rom-com, The Sweetness Between Us.
A 2023 Lambda Literary Awards Finalist for LGBTQ+ Comics
A 2022 Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books of the Year
"Give this book to the teens in your life."
—Tillie Walden, author of Spinning and Are You Listening?
"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
"This graphic novel will give you serious feels... You'll cry, laugh, and smile through this slice-of-life read." —Girls' Life