by: Laurie Halse Anderson
"I open a paperclip and scratch it across the inside of my left wrist. Pitiful. If a suicide attempt is a cry for help, then what is this. A whimper, a peep? I draw little windowcracks of blood, etching line after line until it stops hurting."
Synopsis of "Speak"
Melinda enters 9th grade with only one friend who is a transfer student from Ohio. She hides out in an old janitor closet which she turns into her sanctuary. Melinda begins to suffer from depression which effects her school work. Over the course of the school year Melinda goes from not being able to speak and trying to wipe away the memory of what happened to her that summer night to finally being able to come to terms with the trauma of that night and finally find her voice.
"When people don't express themselves, they die one piece at a time."
Main characters of the book:
- Melinda- a teenager entering high school as an outcast and goes through a traumatic experience. She is the protagonist in the book.
- Rachel- Melinda's ex bestfriend.
- Andy Evans- the antagonist and self-obsessed high school senior who always gets his way.
- Heather- the new girl/transfer student who immediately befriends Melinda and tries to win over popularity in many different groups.
- Melinda's parents- Melinda's mother is a store manager and her dad sells insurance. They are unhappily married and contribute to Melinda's depression.
- Mr. Freeman- Melinda's art teacher who becomes her role model.
- Ivy- One of Melinda's former friend who she reconnects with in the book.
- David Petrakis- Melinda's lab partner whom she admires for his courageous personality.
- Mr. Neck- Melinda's social studies teacher who shows dislike towards her and is racist.