By: Emma Conell


The book Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson includes a ninth grade girl named Melinda who goes to Merryweather High school in Syracuse, New York. Before her freshman year started Melinda and her friends attend a party which includes seniors and beer. Right away Melinda feels uncomfortable and out of place but she just goes along with it. Before you know it Melinda is drunk and comes across Andy Evans, An attractive senior. Melinda soon calls 911 in confusion of laying on the ground, students are soon arrested and Melinda's upcoming school year is ruined.

About The Author

Laurie Halse Anderson is a New York Times bestselling author who writes books for kids all ages. She is best known for her tough subjects, humor, and sensitive stories. Her great writings have earned her many national and state awards, such as speak. Laurie was born on October 23, 1961 in Potsdam, New York. She always loved to write and considered it more than just a hobby. Soon people began to pay her to write. She noticed she could have a career by writing and becoming an author.

Main Character

The main character in the book speak is an upcoming freshman named Melinda who is already starting the year off not so well. She is hated by most seniors and now her friends are turning their backs on her. You could say she somewhat gets bullied and pushed around a lot. The only person she can go to is her one friend, Meghan. Melinda likes to keep to herself. That's why many people don't know what really happened to her or understand her because she decides not to speak about it.


Merryweather High School is located in Syracuse, New York where Melinda and her family live. Another setting to the story would have to be the party that was attended by many. The main setting in the story is the school where all the action happens.


Both the books Speak and Out of my Mind have similar main characters but with two completely different life styles. Like I was saying about Melinda, she is to afraid to speak and stand up for herself. On the other hand the main character of the book Out of my Mind is an eleven year old girl named Melody who is disabled. Melody can't talk and is stuck in a wheelchair. Both of these characters are underestimated and are capable of many things that people look past. The two books are similar because they both talk about a girl who struggles all put into a fiction story. The book cover of out of my mind can relate to the book speak as well. The fish in the bowl represents being trapped your whole life and it shows the fish jumping out because it finds a way to be "free".

Book Reviews

The book speak is mostly a book that's read by teens. The ratings of this book are between a four or five star. A lot of people seem to love the book or find it tolerable.

One of those books...

This is one of those books I just couldn't put down. I have read other good ones, but this one I stayed up late in the night just to get that one chapter in to find out more. The feelings and pain Melinda, the main character, shares with the reader is truly an experience. I watched the movie before the book because I didn't even know the book was out! But I loved the movie so much, I saw the book one day, bought it, and didn't put it down until it was finished. I read this when I was 14 I believe, and I would only recommend this book to ages 13+. DEFINITELY READ IT!

These pages must be lined with gold, I couldn't stop reading!

Man, I just love this book! I would recommend it for ages 13 and over, but 12 year olds (depending on how mature they are) can read it too. It made me grind my teeth the way everyone bashed Melinda for crashing that party. Melinda was getting more depressed each day while holding in this awful secret that made her feel so much shame. I was on this book like politicians are on money, I couldn't put the thing down!