Book Review: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Anderson, Laurie Halse. Speak. Canada, Douglas & McIntyre Ltd, 1999.
Published Review: Having broken up an end-of-summer party by calling the police, high-school freshman Melinda Sordino begins the school year as a social outcast. She’s the only person who knows the real reason behind her call: she was raped at the party by Andy Evans, a popular senior at her school. Slowly, with the help of an eccentric and understanding art teacher, she begins to recover from the trauma, only to find Andy threatening her again. Melinda’s voice is distinct, unusual, and very real as she recounts her past and present experiences in bitterly ironic, occasionally even amusing vignettes. 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. (Reviewed September 15, 1999)— Debbie Carton
– Source for choosing this book: Booklist
– Grades 8-12
– Related Book: Lynch, Chris. Inexcusable. New York, Ginee Seo Books, 2005. Both stories focus on a rape in a high school setting and how people involved deal with it. Source for Related book: Booklist.