By: Laurie Halse Anderson

“You have to know what you stand for, not just what you stand against.”
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Speak is about a teenage girl named Melinda who was raped by an upper classmen while drunk at a summer party. Feeling frantic, 13 year old Melinda panicked and called the cops, busting the party. When school starts the following year, Melinda is rejected by all of her old friends and bullied by strangers she doesn't even know. Throughout the entire year she is the outcast, and has no one to turn to in exception of her art teacher Mr. Freeman, new student Heather, and art prodigy Ivy. Through an art project, and an old janitor's closet, Melinda finds herself growing out of her old ways by the end of the school year.

About Anderson:

Laurie Halse Anderson is the author of four award-winning novels, as well as five picture books. Visit her website at www.writerlady.com


"An uncanny funny book even as it plumbs the darkness, SPEAK will hold readers from first word to last.

-The Horn Book, starred review

"A stunning first novel... Anderson infuses the narrative with a wit that sustains the heroine through her pain and holds the readers' empathy.... Melinda's hard-won metamorphosis will leave readers touched and inspired."

-Publishers Weekly, starred review