by: Laurie Halse Anderson


Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is a fiction novel based on the life of a freshman, Melinda Sordino. Over the summer, Melinda's friend Rachel brought her to a party. After drinking a little bit Melinda ended up being raped by a senior. Melinda chooses to call the police once she got raped. Multiple people were arrested that night for underage drinking. When school starts back up again she looses all of her friends and everyone hates her. Melinda doesn't tell anyone about the incident at the party which leads her to falling into depression. This is the story of a girl who lives with a burden on her chest and all she has to do is Speak.

Character Analysis

Melinda is a quiet, more laid back girl who just need to find her voice. She has brown hair and never puts an effort into what she wears. Melinda just goes with what is happening and isn't very popular. "I am outcast." (Anderson 4). Melinda is more of an outcast than anything and that doesn't help her depression.


Character vs. Character- Melinda's conflict was character versus character because she kept all of her thoughts and worries to herself. She talked to herself in her head and fell into depression.

Character vs. Society- Melinda's conflict was also character versus society because she fell into depression because of someone else's actions. Because she was raped, that caused her to fall into depression.

Resolution- When she came into contact with the person who had raped her (Andy) again, she happened to be in the art room with him and only him. He closed and locked the door. They started physically fighting which lead to her yelling out. "A sound explodes from me. 'NNNOOO!!!'" (Anderson 194). Her speaking out got the attention of the lacrosse team. Eventually after the word got around, she was feeling better that she could speak out.


The theme for Speak is when something bad is going on at home, at school, or wherever, you have to speak out. Not speaking out can lead to depression like Melinda had because she didn't tell anyone about the incident at the party. "It isn't perfect and that makes it just right." (Anderson 198) This quote pertains to the resolution of the story because by the end, Melinda is starting to realize that what happened in the past is in the past. You cant go back and change it so what happened is that and you should just let it be.

Textual Evidence

"I follow the sound, pushing off the wall, pushing Andy Evans off-balance, stumbling into the broken sink." (Anderson 194)

This quote means something to the book because this is the first time Melinda speaks out against Andy.

"The bruises are vivid, but they will fade." (Anderson 198)

This quote is powerful because it is the end of the book when Melinda has the realization that the past is the past.

Book Review

I would rate this book four stars.

I would rate Speak four stars because what the story shows is something that can happen to people in real life. This is a hard topic to talk about sometimes and the author conveys the story in a good way. I wouldn't give it a full five stars because the beginning is slow and sometimes it gets boring. Eventually the story picks up and then it gets better.

Speak movie Trailer 2004 HD Kristen Stewart


book: Anderson, Laurie Halse. Speak. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1999. Print.

website: RAINN. "Statistics | RAINN | Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network."Statistics | RAINN | Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. RAINN, 2009. Web. 12 May 2016.

website: "Teen Dating Abuse Awareness Month." Joyful Heart Foundation. Joyful Heart Foundation, 2016. Web. 12 May 2016.

picture: Anderson, Laurie Halse. Speak Book Cover. Digital image. Young Adult Literature. N.p., 2009. Web. 12 May 2016. <http://www.bellasbookshelves.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/speak.jpg>.

picture: Kight, Ken. Speak Quote. Digital image. Hub Pages. Hub Pages Inc., 2006. Web. 12 May 2016. <https://usercontent1.hubstatic.com/12414118_f520.jpg>.

picture: Speak tree. Digital image. Never Judge a Book... Never Judge a Book..., 14 Oct. 2014. Web. 12 May 2016. <http://neverjudgeabook.weebly.com/common-core-prompts/symbolism-in-laurie-halse-andersons-speak>.

video: Movie Trailers & Commercial, Http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcO9wi9ThtjuXvBLvh_fG0w. "Speak Movie Trailer 2004 HD Kristen Stewart." YouTube. YouTube, 14 Dec. 2014. Web. 12 May 2016.