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Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson


by Laurie Halse Anderson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
10,919632259 (4.12)1 / 345

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English (626)  Italian (3)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  All (631)
Showing 1-5 of 626 (next | show all)
I remember almost everyone reading this book when I was in high school. It was one of those books that just seemed to permeate the atmosphere, sort of like [b:The Giver|3636|The Giver (The Giver, #1)|Lois Lowry|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1342493368s/3636.jpg|2543234] or [b:Ender's Game|375802|Ender's Game (Ender's Saga, #1)|Orson Scott Card|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1364033163s/375802.jpg|2422333]. It was just everywhere. I had no idea what it was about and never got around to reading it until now. I kind of wish I'd read it earlier.

This is the sort of book that would really benefit a younger audience. Like [a:Barry Lyga|150484|Barry Lyga|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1176497521p2/150484.jpg], [a:Laurie Halse Anderson|10003|Laurie Halse Anderson|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1236694913p2/10003.jpg] tapped into the teen psyche in a way that works and works well. She tackled tough topics in a manner that is respectful to the victims without turning unrealistic. Hell, I think we all need someone like Mr. Freeman in our lives.

While being cliché in places (hence the four stars rather than five) I still think this book is a valuable piece of YA fiction. I hope it continues to be as popular as it was when I was growing up. Kids need books. ( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
I had never even heard of this book, and now I’m planning to buy a copy for my teenage daughters to read. Very well done YA about a serious topic. ( )
  sprainedbrain | May 12, 2018 |
I have had this book on my TBR pile for a very long time. Previous to reading this book I had read Anderson’s Wintergirls (which I loved) and The Impossible Knife of Memory (which was okay). This was an amazing read, I really enjoyed this and ended up reading it (almost) one sitting.

This story is told in small sections and portrays the day to day life of a high school girl, Melinda, who is friendless and outcast because of calling the cops at a end-of-party summer. No one knows the truth of why she called the cops; she was raped by an upperclassman and didn’t know what else to do. Since she was terrified and fled as the cops were arriving, only she (and the boy who raped her) know what really happened.

Miranda’s story is heartbreaking and gives incredible insight into how such a violent event affects everything in her life. She is so alone and falling deeply into depression. She doesn’t have support from anyone because no one knows the truth. The only light in her life is her unique art teacher and his art class. Watching Miranda slowly dig herself out of this deep hole and finally speak up for herself was amazing and is enough to give everyone hope.

This is a painful but completely engaging read. I just couldn’t put this book down, I was completely sucked into Miranda’s day to day life.

Overall this is an amazing read that everyone should read. It touches on a sensitive topic and is not a comfortable read. The writing style is addictive and completely draws you into the story; just an amazing book about something that should be discussed more. ( )
  krau0098 | May 3, 2018 |
This classic YA novel tells the story of a girl who was raped at a high school party and goes silent to cope with it. Melinda called 911 after being raped at a party but was unable to tell what had happened to her. She has become an outcast for calling 911 which led to arrests. Now that school is starting again, she is trying to survive with no friends in a very hostile environment.

New girl Heather becomes her only friend but Heather is only using her until she finds her "people." Her parents don't seem to notice that she is having troubles until the school sends out report cards and they see that her grades are dropping and that she is skipping classes and not doing homework. However, rather than asking what's wrong and supporting her, they react by getting angry with her and with each other.

The teachers at the school also seem to be oblivious to Melinda's needs. The English teacher and Social Studies teacher both seem to have taken Melinda in dislike. Her only place of refuge is her Art class which has its own frustrations as the topic she drew to concentrate on for the year is "trees." The art teacher does provide some support but has his own issues with his job and the school board.

I liked Melinda's voice. She has an outsider's view at the daily happenings of her high school which seemed obsessed this year with choosing a new mascot. I liked watching her grow and find her own agency as the year progressed. ( )
1 vote kmartin802 | Apr 25, 2018 |
Woah that was really good. Quick read but pretty much perfect. ( )
  Joanna.Oyzon | Apr 17, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 626 (next | show all)
The plot is gripping and the characters are powerfully drawn, but it is its raw and unvarnished look at the dynamics of the high school experience that makes this a novel that will be hard for readers to forget.
added by khuggard | editKirkus Reviews
In her YA fiction debut, Anderson perfectly captures the harsh conformity of high-school cliques and one teen's struggle to find acceptance from her peers. Melinda's sarcastic wit, honesty, and courage make her a memorable character whose ultimate triumph will inspire and empower readers.
added by khuggard | editBooklist, Debbie Carton
Anderson expresses the emotions and the struggles of teenagers perfectly. Melinda's pain is palpable, and readers will totally empathize with her. This is a compelling book, with sharp, crisp writing that draws readers in, engulfing them in the story.
added by khuggard | editSchool Library Journal, Dina Sherman
But the book's overall gritty realism and Melinda's hard-won metamorphosis will leave readers touched and inspired.
added by khuggard | editPublishers Weekly
Laurie Halse Anderson's first novel is a stunning and sympathetic tribute to the teenage outcast. The triumphant ending, in which Melinda finds her voice, is cause for cheering (while many readers might also shed a tear or two).
added by khuggard | editAmazon.com, Jennifer Hubert

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laurie Halse Andersonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Correa, María MercedesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Canonical title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
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Awards and honors
To Sandy Bernstein, who helped me find my voice, and to my husband Greg, who listens
First words
It is my first morning of high school.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Information from the Spanish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
This book describes the struggle of a teenage girl to find her voice. You watch the character fall into depression, go mute, drop tremendously in school, and isolate herself from society. As if feeling unsafe in the world isn't enough, Melinda doesn't even feel safe in her own mind. And why? Maybe because all of her once best friends refuse to talk to her for busting an end of the summer party. Or perhaps it has something to do with the fact that her parents couldn't take less of an interest in her, and refuse to communicate as they get sucked into their workaholic lives. Deep down, Melinda Sordino knows the reason that her life has turned into a living hell. The only way to escape this whirlwind of torture is to speak, but that's not as easy as it may seem.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0142407321, Paperback)

Since the beginning of the school year, high school freshman Melinda has found that it's been getting harder and harder for her to speak out loud: "My throat is always sore, my lips raw.... Every time I try to talk to my parents or a teacher, I sputter or freeze.... It's like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis." What could have caused Melinda to suddenly fall mute? Could it be due to the fact that no one at school is speaking to her because she called the cops and got everyone busted at the seniors' big end-of-summer party? Or maybe it's because her parents' only form of communication is Post-It notes written on their way out the door to their nine-to-whenever jobs. While Melinda is bothered by these things, deep down she knows the real reason why she's been struck mute...

Laurie Halse Anderson's first novel is a stunning and sympathetic tribute to the teenage outcast. The triumphant ending, in which Melinda finds her voice, is cause for cheering (while many readers might also shed a tear or two). After reading Speak, it will be hard for any teen to look at the class scapegoat again without a measure of compassion and understanding for that person--who may be screaming beneath the silence. (Ages 13 and older) --Jennifer Hubert

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:32 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

A traumatic event near the end of the summer has a devastating effect on Melinda's freshman year in high school.

» see all 6 descriptions

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Laurie Halse Anderson is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Average: (4.12)
0.5 8
1 41
1.5 8
2 108
2.5 22
3 466
3.5 133
4 1090
4.5 170
5 1261


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