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Speak Paperback – May 10, 2011
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“In a stunning first novel, Anderson uses keen observations and vivid imagery to pull readers into the head of an isolated teenager. . . . Yet Anderson infuses the narrative with a wit that sustains the heroine through her pain and holds readers' empathy. . . . But the book's overall gritty realism and Melinda's hard-won metamorphosis will leave readers touched and inspired.” ―Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“An uncannily funny book even as it plumbs the darkness, Speak will hold readers from first word to last.” ―The Horn Book, Starred Review
“A frightening and sobering look at the cruelty and viciousness that pervade much of contemporary high school life, as real as today's headlines. . . . The plot is gripping and the characters are powerfully drawn . . . a novel that will be hard for readers to forget.” ―Kirkus Reviews, Pointer Review
“Melinda's pain is palpable, and readers will totally empathize with her. This is a compelling book, with sharp, crisp writing that draws readers in, engulfing them in the story.” ―School Library Journal
“A story told with acute insight, acid wit, and affecting prose.” ―Library Journal
“Melinda's voice is distinct, unusual, and very real as she recounts her past and present experiences in bitterly ironic, occasionally even amusing vignettes. . . . Melinda's sarcastic wit, honesty, and courage make her a memorable character whose ultimate triumph will inspire and empower readers.” ―Booklist
About the Author
Laurie Halse Anderson is a New York Times bestselling author of books for kids of all ages--including Fever 1793, Chains, Twisted, and many others. Known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity, her work has earned numerous national and state awards, as well as international recognition. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists. Anderson was honored with the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award given by the YALSA division of the American Library Association for her "significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature."
Anderson was born in Potsdam, New York in 1961. Growing up, she loved reading and listening to family stories. She graduated from Georgetown University in 1984. Before becoming a full-time writer, she was freelance journalist, and then worked part-time at a bookstore to earn money while working on her fiction. Mother of four and wife of one, Laurie lives in northern New York, where she likes to watch the snow fall as she writes.
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The beauty of this novel is that it could have survived alone without the much more sinister story behind it. But, that said, it also served as a very sad and moving voice for rape victims, particularly the vast amounts who feel at fault or scared or embarrassed by what happened. It was a quick, easy teen read but it's also the kind that plays on your mind repeatedly after finishing it.
I hope my review has been helpful to you. It encourages me to continue writing and updating my reviews. Please leave a comment if you have any questions, I will be more than happy to answer if I can be of help.
But the thing I loved the very most about this book was that it was so honest. A lot of YA fiction seems like there's a tragedy involved but only as the backdrop to a story which is ultimately a cheap fantasy - everyone rallies around the selfless, popular, and beautiful heroine. Here Melinda is just an average girl, struggling with the same issues that most (all?) teen-agers struggle with - family dynamics, changing friendships, self-esteem. She is someone to whom anyone can relate. Great novel, both for dealing with the subject of date rape honestly, and for creating such real, memorable characters.
I thought this book was so important to read for young people that I had my own son, who is in high school read it. It gave him alot to think about and alot of questions to ask. We had one of those important life talks because of this book.
If you are a parent and your school is not having students read this book I would recommend you read this book first to see if you think your tween/teen is ready to handle the content. Then if you think they are ready, have your tween or teen read it and then get together afterwards and discuss it.
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This book is tricky for me to review because I understand the importance of it and agree with its...Read more