Speak (Paperback) ~ Laurie Halse Anderson Cover Art

Speak (Paperback)

By: Laurie Halse Anderson


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Review

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

Short Desription

Freshman year at Merryweather High is not going well for Melinda Sordino. She busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, and now her friends—and even strangers—all hate her. So she stops trying, stops talking. She retreats into her head, and all the lies and hypocrisies of high school become magnified, leaving her with no desire to talk to anyone anyway. But it’s not so comfortable in her head, either—there’s something banging around in there that she doesn’t want to think about. She can’t just go on like this forever. Eventually, she’s going to have to confront the thing she’s avoiding, the thing that happened at the party, the thing that nobody but her knows. She’s going to have to speak the truth.



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