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Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson


by Laurie Halse Anderson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
11,418654345 (4.12)1 / 349

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English (646)  Italian (3)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (652)
Showing 1-5 of 646 (next | show all)

I read this book back during sophomore year of high school, and it destroyed me.

Re-reading it all these years later feels a bit strange, if only because of the distance. It's hard to look back at my first two years of high school, because I was extremely unhappy and didn't know how to escape that unhappiness. This book spoke to me at fifteen because it was also about an extremely unhappy, lonely girl. Reading it again now makes me unbearably sad for both the characters in the book and my younger self.

It's hard to look back. ( )
  miri12 | May 31, 2019 |
I'm not a big fan of graphic novels, so it was hard to love this book. ( )
  Lisa5127 | May 25, 2019 |
'Speak' is not a book intended for easy reading, not at all. Although I haven't experienced any such experience myself, I feel a high identification with Melinda, the heroine of the book. I was, and I still like her. This book is unique for several reasons: its writing style is unlike anything I have read in the past. Two, the subject is difficult to deal with, personally, socially, and culturally. Melinda is a person who is muted in our society and is the protagonist of the story; she is an easy figure to connect. It may be a little puzzling, but I think it's simple. People relate to her character because they identify with the emotions she expresses, with this cloud that envelops everything, the inner thoughts that only she plays in our heads. ( )
  Johenlvinson | May 22, 2019 |
Age Range: 14+
Grade Level: 9-12
This book is about Melinda a young girl that is traumatized by a rape and then becomes isolated from her peers. It follows her story about how she starts to ditch classes, steal passes from teachers, and deliberately cuts herself. It's very descriptive about sexual scenes and many other sexual remarks and comments. It ends with Melinda finally speaking up for herself about her race and rapist.
This book should definitely have a parent discussion after it is read, because if the materials it covers, ( )
  lewisl6 | May 14, 2019 |
As a freshman in high school, I can relate to the book, especially with the also freshman, Melinda Sordino. She goes through experiences that any other high school goes through. Melinda deals with classes and annoying teachers. Her grades aren't looking so well and her social life is pretty low. That right there is what I can feel. I am the type of person who is quiet and doesn't like to "speak." But her reason for being shy is completely different than mine. She went through something no girl should have to go through. This character in the book is an example of serious world problems and why tragic things happen. I 10/10 recommend this book to my fellow peers. ( )
  sam04 | May 3, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 646 (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 editionscalculated
Correa, María MercedesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
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Awards and honors
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
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Information from the Spanish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Canonical DDC/MDS

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Wikipedia in English


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.

» see all 6 descriptions

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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: (4.12)
0.5 8
1 41
1.5 9
2 109
2.5 22
3 485
3.5 134
4 1139
4.5 170
5 1302


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