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Free Speech Handbook, Cover Image.JPG

A nonfiction graphic novel
in the World Citizen Comics series, out now from Macmillan!

Drawing on parallels between
10 seminal Supreme Court cases and current events, Free Speech Handbook creates a practical framework for understanding our free speech protections.

An "informative and inspiring guide"!
~Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) 


Freedom of speech is perhaps the most American of virtues. In a nation where everyone wants to speak and be heard, this First Amendment right is vital to our identity and our democracy. These rights have been advanced by people who spoke out and fought in our nation’s highest court, with each decision refining and reshaping what exactly “free speech” means. In Free Speech Handbook, Ian Rosenberg and Mike Cavallaro brilliantly trace this turbulent history across ten seminal Supreme Court cases while drawing parallels with more recent controversies. Rosenberg’s straightforward language combines with Cavallaro’s bold and bright art to create an accessible and engaging crash course on the meaning, reach, and limits of our free speech rights.

Each chapter in Free Speech Handbook focuses on a contemporary free speech question—from student walkouts for gun safety to Colin Kaepernick’s “Take a Knee” protests, from Nazis marching in Charlottesville to social media trolls— and then tells the story of the people behind the key Supreme Court case that provides the answers. Together these fascinating stories create a practical framework for understanding where our free speech protections originated and how they can evolve in the future. Free Speech Handbook is a tool for fighting authoritarianism, protecting our democracy, and bringing an appreciation of free speech law to people of all ages.







Ian Rosenberg, Author

Ian Rosenberg has over twenty years of experience as a media lawyer, and has worked as legal counsel for ABC News since 2003. He graduated with distinction from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and magna cum laude from Cornell Law School. Rosenberg is also an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker, and teaches media law at Brooklyn College. He is the author of The Fight for Free Speech (NYU Press 2021), which Kirkus called in a starred review, “Essential reading for journalists, political activists, and ordinary citizens alike."

My Story


Mike Cavallaro, Artist

Mike Cavallaro is from New Jersey and has worked in comics and animation since the early 1990s. His comics include Eisner Award–nominated Parade (with fireworks), The Life and Times of Savior 28 (written by J.M. DeMatteis), Foiled and Curses! Foiled Again (written by Jane Yolen), Decelerate Blue (written by Adam Rapp), and the Nico Bravo series (a 2019 New York Public Library Best Books for Kids selection). 


"This savvy nonfiction graphic narrative provides an excellent introduction to the little-understood theory and practice of free speech in America ....

[an] informative and inspiring guide"!  


Starred Review 

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Media Links

Publishers Weekly's Starred Review of Free Speech Handbook

A New York Times "What to Read" Selection

Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens 2o23 Selection by YALSA

Texas Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List 2023 Selection by the Texas Library Association

WNYC's All of It with Alison Stewart - Interview with author Ian Rosenberg

The New York Public Library TeenLIVE Author Talk - Interview with Ian Rosenberg & Mike Cavallaro

Politics and Prose Bookstore Talk - Featuring host Laura Wides-Muñoz & the creators of Free Speech Handbook: Ian Rosenberg & Mike Cavallaro

First Amendment Museum - One on 1 with Ian Rosenberg

NY Comic Con 2021 - Panel Appearance on "Political Cartoons as Learning Tools"

Interviews with Ian Rosenberg & Mike Cavallaro:

Capes & Tights Podcast; Graphic Novel Explorers Club Podcast;

First Second Instagram Live

Smash Pages Q&A - Mike Cavallaro talks Free Speech Handbook

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund - CBLDF Interim Director Jeff Trexler Interviews Ian Rosenberg 

Kansas Public Radio: Conversations - Interview with Ian Rosenberg

Constitution Day Excerpt on The Beat

"Free Speech Week" Excerpt at First Amendment Museum  

Media Links

Selected Pages from FREE SPEECH HANDBOOK

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