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Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
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Speak (edition 1999)

by Laurie Halse Anderson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
9,188545325 (4.13)1 / 302
Member:Herenya
Title:Speak
Authors:Laurie Halse Anderson
Info:Puffin (2006), Edition: 1, Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Read, Favorites, Connect, ['08 - '12]
Rating:****1/2
Tags:young adult, teenage-life, diary, school, abuse, dark, read-2008

Work details

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

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English (540)  Italian (2)  French (1)  All languages (543)
Showing 1-5 of 540 (next | show all)
Summary
This book is about a young girl named Melinda who had been raped the summer prior to her starting high school. She is silent about what has happened to her and is considered an outcast by most of those who attend the school. However, when the truth comes out about what really happen, she is revealed to be a sort of hero to others and finally tells her story to her art teacher, after being silent about it all.
Personal Reaction
I actually loved this book when I read it. I first read it in high school and was really impacted by Melinda’s character. I could sympathize with being quite or outcasted by others in high school, and I was also moved by the events and challenges she had to grow through. I absolutely loved the comparisons to The Scarlet Letter and Maya Angelou throughout the book.
Extensions:
1) In class I can use this as a prelude to talking about safety and making sure to talk to adults if something has happened to you or someone else.
2) I can have the class create their own trees as they see fit and explain why they created their specific trees.
  GSoto95 | Mar 25, 2015 |
Make sure to check out http://betterbooks.tumblr.com/ for more reviews and book stuff!

“When people don't express themselves, they die one piece at a time.”

Speak has been out for over fifteen years but time has done nothing to diminish the incredible pain and power in this novel.

Anderson's writing is spectacular and it's easy to see the vicious and lonely world of high school through the eyes of an outcast. Anderson deals bluntly with the subject of rape and recovery without letting the novel become solemn and unbearable.

The book is about so much more than that though, it is an authetic telling of high school life. Melinda is perhaps one of the best written teens I have read in years. Clever without being unbelievable and struggling through depression and anxiety as many teens do.

The ending is a bit too clean cut but there is a very good reason this book is regarded as highly as it is, and I would encourage anyone going through high school to give it a read. ( )
1 vote Dani.St-Onge | Mar 1, 2015 |
Without friends, because she called the cops at an end-of-summer party, Melinda has no one to talk to. Telling no one the reason why, she sinks into a silence that no one can understand. Her friends disown her and her parents can't seem to figure out what is wrong with her. Melinda's only refuge is an abandoned janitor's closet at school and her only means of communicating is through her artwork as encouraged by an empathetic teacher. She struggles through every day as she tries to cope with former friends, teachers, and her parents until finally she stands up to the upperclassman guy who is still a threat to her. Anderson's painful story forces the reader to ask uncomfortable questions, challenge high school stereotypes, and examine the effects of sexual abuse. ( )
  MzzColby | Jan 3, 2015 |
Heart-wrenching. It's a very realistic and believable look at high school and the stupidity of teens. ( )
  benuathanasia | Dec 11, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 540 (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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Dedication
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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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

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