Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

What a great book!  Many of the books I’ve read or am interested in reading all make reference to this book.  So with my curiosity I just had to see what it was all about – and it was great!  Well worth the read!  

What is it about?  It’s the story of Melinda Sordino, a 13-year old who is starting high school with a huge burden on her shoulders.  She called 911 at an end-of-summer party and ended up losing all her friends as a result.  Her first year in high school is dreadful – not only because her best friends have disowned her but because she has a secret that just won’t allow her to Speak. 

It’s a wonderful story that takes the reader inside Melinda’s head – through her thought processes and allows the reader to work with her as she unwinds her secret.  I’ll be honest – it really is one of those scary reads – but scary as in “I don’t really want to know the truth!” – “I don’t really want to know what happened” – “I’m afraid for Melinda”.  It’s a book that YES young ladies should read and double YES their parents should read as well.  The story unravels in such a way that I didn’t really know what happened to Melinda until after the Third Marking Period – and to me this is what makes the book so compelling.


 Favourite quotes: 

“The weather lady says it’s a lake-effect storm – the wind from Canada sucks up water from Lake Ontario, runs it through the freeze machine, and dumps it on Syracuse.”     p. 87 

“April Fool’s Day is when most seniors get their acceptance or rejection letters from college.  Thumbs up or thumbs down.  It’s a sick piece of timing.”       p. 142 

“What do they know about me?  What do they know about the inside of my head?  Flashes of lightning, children crying.  Caught in an avalanche, pinned by worry, squirming under the weight of doubt, guilt.  Fear.”    p. 157


 Anderson, Laurie Halse. (2003).  Speak.  Toronto, ON:  Scholastic Inc. 

Author website:  http://www.writerlady.com/

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