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Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak (edition 1999)

by Laurie Halse Anderson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
10,361619278 (4.13)1 / 340
Authors:Laurie Halse Anderson
Info:Hodder Children's Books, London (2006), Paperback, 230 pages
Collections:Read, Your library, Favorites, Connect, ['08 - '12]
Tags:young adult, teenage-life, diary, school, abuse, dark, read-2008

Work details

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson


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English (614)  Italian (2)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All (618)
Showing 1-5 of 614 (next | show all)
It does a good job of getting inside the head of a troubled teenager. ( )
  nx74defiant | Apr 7, 2017 |
Speak is a book that needed to be written. It's about a girl who has entered 9th grade is losing her voice, her trust and herself. Ms. Anderson handles a very difficult situation beautifully. The book is sweetly tender and poignant enough that it brought tears because you could feel the pain this girl goes through. While it's a tough situation to talk about it is worth the read and one I would recommend any parent read with their daughters - and then talk about it. ( )
  mmoj | Mar 2, 2017 |
Can't wait to go hear this author speak on the 18th. I loved her book Fever and really enjoyed this one as well. She really has amazing versatility to be able to write fabulous historical fiction as well as very realistic YA fiction. I wasn't thrilled with the end of the book though. It felt too contrived and far fetched. Most girls don't get the chance to defend themselves against their attackers a second time. But the first 1/4 of this book made up for any short comings. Great voice! ( )
  annabw | Feb 21, 2017 |
This was a tough read and I never would have heard of it had it not been an assignment for my kid. There's nothing particularly graphic in the book but being a witness to Mel's feelings of despair and solitude were painful. ( )
  amcheri | Jan 24, 2017 |
This is a very well-written YA book. When we read literature meant for Young Adults, it helps us understand dealing with the anxieties and stress that they face in their lives. They are slightly older than children and yet younger than adults. So, what sets this story different? Often in the rebellious phase during teenage, we choose to scream, express anger via a very visible body communication. When someone is damaged and crushed and cannot muster up courage to confront the attacker, they keep mum because they are ashamed of being the victim; there is a stigma with being victimized. Speaking up takes courage, a lot of guts but mostly support from people who understand the pain and anguish the victim undergoes. Melinda from this story goes mute also because of lack of empathy from her parents and victim-blaming from her peers. Its extremely important to focus on mental health of young adults. The school often is not the best place to do so. Unfortunately, when parents fail to provide comfort it breaks such kids. Some are tough and valiantly battle their way. I only wish that we as society recognize and put some love back into these kids lives. A voice of hope and comfort is the strength we can provide them.

Sexual assault, bullying, eating disorders, low self-esteem - these are increasingly being discussed in schools now. While there are guidance counsellors available in american schools, India doesn't have any such support systems in their schools yet. It becomes extremely difficult amidst the attention and emphasis paid on academic records than nurturing mental health and an overall well-being of teenagers these days. School and academics have become more competitive and cut-throat now than ever. Ten years ago, teens would talk, discuss, approach teachers and their friends with problems. Now, everyone is too caught up in their own little world facilitated by electronic devices that keep them entertained and also, alas! aloof from their peers and teachers. While the goal of studying in school environment is to learn to adjust and live with people, it can seriously also defeat this very purpose when authorities fail to recognize signs of trauma/distress in teens. The nuclear family has become way too individual now to demand attention from each other. Its the collective responsibility of parents, teachers and school authorities to guide such teens when they notice something irregular with them. Not every teen will approach regarding their problems. I feel strongly that schools must develop such 'easy approach' so that kids do speak up fearlessly.

I hope kids in schools read more such literature. We need to identify Post-traumatic stress disorder in children and help them deal with it. Not everyone finds their way and voice back like Melinda in ordinary life. Art as therapy though not consciously used or realized by Mel is another positive feature of this story. This book has been an eye opener to become more involved with the emotional distress that teens face. They are fighting their lone battles. A little help and kindness from parents, friends and society will help them get past these demons and lead better lives. Thank you, Laurie Halse Anderson for writing this book. ( )
  Sharayu_Gangurde | Jan 19, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 614 (next | show all)
This book is about a girl named melinda Sorodino who begins her freshmen year at Marryweather high school. The summer following up to her freshmen year seemed to have been great until an incident happened. Because of this Melindas life flips completelty. Melinda is not the type of girl to look for friends or try to socialize, in fact she spends most oh her time in a janitors closet.Many of the people at the school doslike her because of her actions.
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

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Laurie Halse Andersonprimary authorall editionscalculated
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
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It is my first morning of high school.
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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)

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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)

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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: (4.13)
0.5 8
1 38
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3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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