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Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak (edition 1999)

by Laurie Halse Anderson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
10,142608282 (4.13)1 / 326
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 (603)  Italian (2)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (607)
Showing 1-5 of 603 (next | show all)
If we had read this when we were in High School, I think we'd have been more likely to call out some of the date rapes that happened back then, rather than just let the ugliness slide under the surface. I hope reading it allows somebody to see themselves or their friend and get help.
Of course, the vengeance provided here at the end gives me a vicarious thrill... I'll never be able to avenge things that happened to my peer group, but I can at least dream. ( )
  DeborahJ2016 | Oct 26, 2016 |
This is one of the books i read in high school and actually enjoyed. I think it's really well-written. Melinda has a unique voice that, in my opinion, is sullen, but not whiny. I think the mystery is really well-developed. It's mentioned every now and then that there's more to Melinda's story than what her classmates know, but it isn't flashed in the reader's face too often; it allows you to enjoy the story as it's happening and then enjoy the revelation when it comes. I definitely recommend it.

*Reviewed on July 7, 2014.* ( )
  danaenicole | Oct 15, 2016 |
This book is a great read for anyone who is struggling with the problems high schoolers face. It is a story about how this girl is very unpopular and tries to erase her past. She learns to make new friends and survive high schools many challenges ( )
  jtocain | Oct 10, 2016 |
What do you do when something terrible happens, but the words won't leave your mouth to tell the truth?

This book is about just that...

Melinda was raped and no one knows what truly happened. All they know is she called the cops on the night of the party.

When she attends school it's as if she has the plague. Her old friends hate her and people who don't know her glare. She walks through the halls and cringes at the verbal abuse she receives. If only they knew the truth...

The story is a classic about just how cruel High School can be. Melinda has to let her guard down in order to Speak again.

Slowly she learns to let go by expressing herself through art. When the burden is off her shoulders, things go back to the way they were before... and justice is served.

I was captivated by Melinda's story. The things in the book are true actions that one may face in school. Everyone is so quick to judge, even if it's just hear say. To see what Melinda went through showed me how emotionally damaging bullying is. Many times she would hide or cry or even think about ending it all. No one should think such things... I wanted to scream at the people who treated her terribly. My heart ached for her.

This is a book that every person should read. It is a beautiful lesson about how tough life can be and how important it is to always speak the truth. ( )
  ReadersCandyb | Oct 7, 2016 |
Speak is a wonderful book for teenagers to read.
Especially teens who are first starting high school. It has a lot of harsh reality about high school, but it is very moving.It is suspenseful and can even be a testimony for some people. I truly enjoyed it and would recommend it to all adolescent readers. ( )
  ETW70 | Oct 6, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 603 (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

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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.
Last words
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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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