By: Laurie Halse Anderson

What would it take for you to speak up?

"I saw my face in the window over the kitchen sink and no words came out of my mouth. Who was that girl? I had never seen her before." (Anderson 136)
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Melinda crashed a back-to-school party by calling the cops and busting them for illegal alcohol. Now her friends won’t talk to her and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. Melinda finds refuge in an abandoned janitor's closet and her only other safe place is in her head, but her head isn't as safe as she would like it to be. There is something she’s trying not to think about, something that happened on the night of the party. IT. And if she let it in, her facade would crumble before her eyes. Speak walks you through Melinda's struggle to speak the truth and stand up for herself.

Laurie's novel has grasped the hearts of thousands of teenagers

About Laurie

"Laurie Halse Anderson is the New York Times-bestselling author who writes for kids of all ages. Known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity, her work has earned numerous national and state awards, as well as international recognition. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists. Laurie was honored with the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award given by YALSA division of the American Library Association for her “significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature…”. Mother of four and wife of one, Laurie lives in Northern New York, where she likes to watch the snow fall as she writes." (http://madwomanintheforest.com/laurie/)


"An uncannily funny book even as it plumbs the darkness. SPEAK will hold readers from first word to last." -The Horn Book

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


  • A MIchael L. Printz Honor Book
  • A National Book Award Finalist
  • An Edgar Allen Poe Award Finalist
  • A Los Angeles TImes Book Prize Finalist
  • A BCCB Blue Ribbon Book
  • Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year

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