Speak

by: Laurie Halse Anderson

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"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."

- Melinda, Speak

Synopsis of "Speak"

Melinda Sordino enters high school as an outcast. Her best friend Rachel hates her; no one likes her because of what she did that summer before school started. Melinda and her closet friends attended an end of the summer party hosted by seniors from their school. While at this party something unspeakable happens to Melinda which causes her to call the police. Everyone finds out that it was Melinda who broke up the party, leaving her to be resented by everyone in the school. But no one knows what happened that night at the party. Melinda doesn't speak about it, since that horrible night she has lost her voice. She is still trying to understand what happened to her.

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."

- Melinda, Speak

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.

Excerpt from "Speak"

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Check out the photo gallery below which includes pictures from scenes of the motion picture based off of the book!

"I close my eyes, this is what I've been dreading. As we leave the last stop, I am the only person sitting alone."

- Melinda, Speak

Star based rating of book

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Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is a very powerful yet entertaining book about a young girl who experiences a traumatic event. This book effectively displays a touching story and for that reason I would highly suggest anyone to read this book. I'm sure many could relate to this story in one way or another and if not you will still be touched by the story.
Created by: Brianna Carbē