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by Laurie Halse Anderson
Publisher: Puffin
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Reading Level: Young Adult
Edition: Paperback
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Editorial Reviews:
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

Book Description
Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that's not safe. Because there's something she's trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country.

Awards for Speak

A 2000 Printz Honor Book
A 1999 National Book Award Finalist
An Edgar Allan Poe Award Finalist
A 1999 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist
Winner of the SCBWI Golden Kite Award
An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
An ALA Quick Pick
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A Booklist Top Ten First Novel of 1999
A BCCB Blue Ribbon Book
A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
A Horn Book Fanfare Title

Product Details
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; edition (Apr 23, 2023)
  • ISBN: 014131088X
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 Based on 892 reviews.
  • Sales Rank: 791

Customer Reviews

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:

4A well-written novel, Sep 29, 2023
When I first decided to read this book, I was hesitant to read it because I thought it would be depressing and sad. Even thought it was at times a little sad, most of the book takes you inside the mind of the main character, Melinda Sordino, who decides to spend her freshman year at high school as a mute as a result of a traumatic event that occured during the summer. Through the novel, Melinda goes through imaginable things that none of us would want to deal with. However, I could not put this book down, no matter how hard I tried. Laurie Halse Anderson keeps you hooked on every word, and makes you feel like you know Melinda as if she were your own friend.

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:

5*SpEaK*, Sep 29, 2023
Speak is a book i would highly recommend,if you are 13 and up.
Its about a 9th grader who had alot of friends and it all changed one night at a party where she was raped.
It talks about her depressing life having to go through all these troubles facing her ex-best friends and the boy who raped her,and the horrible flashbacks that don't seem to leave her alone. The end is a thrilling surprise you wouldn't expect. So if you wan't to read a great award winning book you should read Speak.

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:

3Speak , Sep 28, 2023
Do you like high school drama? Well then Speak is a good book for you. Speak starts out were Melinda is going to high school and has no more friends,because at a high school party she called the cops! But then she gets at her school and makes one new friend who later drops her because she wont stop cutting class. Her life is realy messed up right now. She wants her x best friend back Rachel, who is falling in love with this guy who is the reason why Melinda called the cops that night! Melinda finally tells Rachel why she called the cops and she didnt believe her so she kept going out with the guy Melinda calls IT!
I realy recommend this book it keeps you on the edge of your seat during the hole book!

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:

5Witty and Sarcastic, Sep 28, 2023
I personally enjoyed this book, and it's honestly one of my favorites. So many girls in high school - or even middle school at that - can relate to Melinda. Quiet and sarcastic, and alone. I think why I liked this book so much is that I used to be the outcast in school, and it's nice to feel like you know someone else who felt the same, even if they aren't living.

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:

4Great book, Sep 27, 2023
Speak by Laurie Anderson

Speak is a well-written book. It's about a young teenager named Melinda. She goes to a high school where no one speaks to her because of an incident that happened last summer at a party. She speaks to no one about that summer. During the party she called the cops and everyone found out that it was Melinda who called the cops. A lot of her friends got arrested for drinking and taking drugs. But no one knows why she called the cops. It wasn't because they were drinking. It was something else, something she can't speak of.
This book is a sad and dramatic story. You should read this book. Don't you want to find out what happened to Melinda....What really happened to her? Find out why she called the cops and why she won't speak.


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