Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson | Teen Ink

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson MAG

July 15, 2014
By Teenage_Reads ELITE, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Teenage_Reads ELITE, Halifax, Nova Scotia
293 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
"So many books, so little time"

Talking. Such an easy task. We teach children how, only to tell them to be quiet. Every day we talk to strangers, friends, classmates, and parents. Whether in person, on the phone, through the television, or over the radio, talking seems essential. But what if you don’t want to? Can you make it through life without saying a word? Melinda Sordino tries, for she cannot find the words to explain what happened to her.

As a middle school girl you dream of going to high school. Being a freshman sounds like the coolest thing in the world. When Melinda’s group of friends is invited to an end-of-summer party, Melinda thinks this will be the perfect way to start high school. Yet at the party, Melinda meets It. It does the most unthinkable thing to Melinda, making her so scared she calls the cops. Now that she busted the party, everyone is mad at her. Her friends ditch her, and Melinda is stuck facing the rage of the entire student body. This is when she decides to stop speaking.

Melinda floats through high school biting her lips and skipping classes. When her parents are not yelling at each other they’re yelling at her:

“Why won’t you speak?” they scold their mute daughter. If only Melinda could tell them. She fails her courses including art, the class she consistently gets an A in. It is her art teacher who helps her to finally speak up – to tell everyone what It did to her.

Laurie Halse Anderson has written a truly perfect book. Speak deals with a difficult topic that no one wants to talk about, and we experience it through the victim’s point of view. No one should ever have to go through what Melinda did. She is a true role model for girls, as she survived the unthinkable and found her voice in the process.

The author's comments:

A truly remarkable book!

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