Laurie Halse Anderson


Melinda began ninth grade with no friends and depressed. During the summer, Melinda called the police at a party. The whole school, including her old friends do not like her for being a snitch. No one liked Melinda for what she did, but they did not know why she did it. A senior, Andy Evans raped her while she was drunk at the party. During the school year, she has to relive the party and face what happened over. Towards the end of ninth grade, Melinda finds her voice and learns to speak up about what had really happened.

Character Analysis

Melinda Sordino is a depressed 14 year old girl with a big secret on her shoulders. She was raped at a party in August before school started. She called the cops at the party to report it, but leaves after the call. Everyone at the party got busted and that caused people to hate her. As her secret grew heavier she talked to people less and less. Mel finally realized to help protect herself and others it was time for people to know what has happened to her.


Melinda goes through a lot of conflicts including, Character vs Self, character vs character, and character vs society.

Character vs character is a big main conflict in the book, Melinda gets raped at a party and constantly gets tortured by him at school reminding her of what happened.

In Speak character vs self is a big thing because Melinda is depressed and fighting her own thoughts and her own

Character vs society is showed a lot during this book when everyone at school hates Mel because they all think she called the cops to bust the party.


The theme of Speak is finding help and hope. Melinda struggles through the whole book with bullies at school, old friends shunning her, and Andy Evans tormenting her through the school year, reminding her of everything he did to her. Towards the end of the book, Melinda starts to tell her friend, what had happened and even though at first she did not believe, she still came through for Mel when Prom came. Melinda got raped a second time, but screamed and people heard and found her. Andy was punished and Mel spoke up to other girls about him and she helped a bunch of people to stay safe and be careful around him and other guys.

Textual Evidence

"The time has come to arm-wrestle some demons." This quote is one of my favorites from Speak, because it was the beginning of Melinda starting to stand up for herself and speak up to her old friends.

Book Review

I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars. Speak has a powerful messages to teenagers, young adults and even adults.

Multi-Media Sources

Speak is a very intense look into the terrible reality of sexual assault and bullying. You should not have to fear coming to school, hoping nobody will harass you today, or be rude to you.