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SWALLOW ME WHOLE by Nate Powell





Enter the world of two siblings and their descent into schizophrenia. This graphic novel shows a very realistic portrayal of two children who watch their grandmother's madness and their own battles with the same illness.

What really hit me were the scenes with the principal and how he handles the one girl when she has 'issues'. Since he knows she suffers from mental illness he assumes the worse. I've seen this happen with my own son and his ADHD. It's wrong and I also know violates that child's rights. So the author nailed this right on the dot.

I also really liked how the text slowly morphs into a crazy surreal world, showing both siblings fall into madness. The sister has an obsession with collecting insects but not only that she believes she hears them. The brother swears a little wizard makes him draw pictures of a mission. Add kids at school trying to get them to 'sell' their meds. This novel addresses some very serious subjects.

The only thing I wished was that the text had been in color. But I think maybe that was done on purpose to convey the surreal world of both siblings. The ending is very symbolic of the cycle of mental illness. For that reason alone I'd recommend this book.


SWALLOW ME WHOLE is a Cybils nominated book.