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Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak (edition 1999)

by Laurie Halse Anderson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
8,930535336 (4.13)1 / 291
Authors:Laurie Halse Anderson
Info:Puffin (2006), Edition: 1, Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Read, Favorites, Connect, ['08 - '10]
Tags:young adult, teenage-life, diary, school, abuse, dark, read-2008

Work details

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson


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English (532)  Italian (2)  All languages (534)
Showing 1-5 of 532 (next | show all)
I know. A ton of people liked this book. I'm giving this crap a one star though.

I never did connect with this books main character. I finally was to the point where I didn't give a shit anymore when the big reveal came about why she was having so many problems. I felt somewhat sorry for her then but it still just didn't pull through enough for me.
( )
  bookqueenshelby | Sep 9, 2014 |
This book perfectly encompasses the emotions some teens go through after a traumatic experience. Not only should this book be read by every teenager who has experienced something similar to this, parents and educators should read it as well. Sometimes the "troublemaker" is just troubled by their past... ( )
  KRaySaulis | Aug 13, 2014 |
This book. Just... wow. The back cover says,"Books such as SPEAK will stay with readers forever." It wasn't kidding. I have never felt more connected to a character than I did Melinda.

I'm not sure what else I can say. This book touched a nerve. It brought back all the pain and hate and loneliness of high school. It reminded me how oblivious teachers and parents and administrators are and how fickel people can be. Reminded me too, that there's always at least one person you can talk to and one person who tries to encourage you, not place blame. Speak reminded me that pain comes in different forms, but it's still pain and it's still real, and you need to figure out what to do about it. I was able to put a lot of faces to the names in this book, despite it being fictional. No, my story isn't as bad as Melinda's, not even close. It doesn't mean that I can't relate and can't find parallels in my own life.

I believe everyone should read this book. At some point in their life, everyone can relate. ( )
  cebellol | Jul 22, 2014 |
Another, "check out to read w/ my class" book. It was really a great book, and I empathize with the English teacher (I read the description and thought Anderson was one of my students...)

2nd read:
This book just amazes me every time I read it. Melinda is such an amazing character. Even with all of the terrible things she lives through, her sarcastic and humorous tone makes the book a delight to read. I only hope my students liked it as much as I do. ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 532 (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 editionsconfirmed
Correa, María MercedesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
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Information from the Spanish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:34 -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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

LibraryThing Author

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

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