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Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
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Speak (edition 1999)

by Laurie Halse Anderson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
9,855595288 (4.13)1 / 319
Member:Herenya
Title:Speak
Authors:Laurie Halse Anderson
Info:Hodder Children's Books, London (2006), Paperback, 230 pages
Collections:Read, Your library, 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 (589)  Italian (2)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (593)
Showing 1-5 of 589 (next | show all)
Hated for Calling for Help

Melinda aka Mel speaks not a word as the new school year begins and yet is screaming inside. Hated by all peers who heard of her calling the police at the end of the year party, the reader knows something had to have happened to her, just not what right away. Throughout the book, you get glimpses of what Mel's mindset is, how others see and treat her and how she is coping/not coping with the previous life changing event. This is a great read for all. ( )
  eeminxs | May 27, 2016 |
I think this was one of the most moving books I read as a teen, and it was almost a transition for me to move from kids fantasy books to explore serious young adult fiction that dealt with real life issues. Definitely worth a read! ( )
  meowism | May 17, 2016 |
I read this YA novel at the urging of my 13 y.o. daughter. The themes of teenage depression, bullying, loneliness and sexuality are common fodder nowadays for books and newspapers and top-of-the-hour-newscasts, but they are often somewhat lurid and voyeuristic, and almost exploitative in their own tellings. But this book has avoided those traps. The voice of the main character sounds real -- she is just coming off that perch between childhood and teenagedom, and though she might not be speaking aloud for much of the story, her interior monologue is darkly funny and poignant.
Kudos to my daughter's English teacher for recommending it. ( )
  TheBookJunky | Apr 22, 2016 |
This is an incredibly powerful story lived through the words and thoughts of Melinda. I think the aspect I liked the most was the relevance of every single word, how it was so relatable every step of the way. I think not only (as Anderson says herself) is this something that rape-victims can relate to, but anyone who has gone through depression, of any kind. The day to day progress, getting the courage to finally Speak. It's just so real, so true, so authentic. I really liked it. ( )
  zombiehero | Mar 25, 2016 |
The biggest words, meaning those used most often, tagged for Speak are the words, "rape," 'Young Adult," "depression," and "high school." At first glace, some of these words seem controversial and some think that they don't have a place in the young adult classroom, but after reading Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, I now understand that not only do these words have a place, but should be taught to students all across the nation. As I followed Melinda Sordino as she struggled with being an outcast in her first year of high school seemed to be the plot for many young adult novels in this day in age, but when we find out why she secludes herself and suffers silently amidst the average teen angst, we feel s deep sympathy. She was a rape victim. She felt she had no peers, nor parents that she could confide in, we are forced to watch Melinda slip more and more into depression. The plot comes to a climax when Melinda warns an old friend about the dangers of her attacker, and he then traps Melinda and begins to attack her again. She is then forced to shake her depression in an effort to protect herself from suffering the same tragedy even more brutally. Finally finding the courage to stand up to her rapist and speak up for herself, Melinda grows and trims away her rotting past like the branches of the tree she creates in art class. It was a wonderful story of overcoming tragedy and rising from the metaphorical ashes. The motifs used by the author were unique and complex, and Melinda's unreliable narration caused the reader to have to analyze and read I between the lines. I think anyone who has gone through a personal conflict or struggle would relate to Melinda and really enjoy this book as much as I did. ( )
  emmaoc | Feb 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 589 (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 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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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