05 November 2009

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson


Speak ~ Laurie Halse Anderson
Since the beginning of the school year, high school freshman Melinda has found that it's been getting harder and harder for her to speak out loud: "My throat is always sore, my lips raw.... Every time I try to talk to my parents or a teacher, I sputter or freeze.... It's like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis." What could have caused Melinda to suddenly fall mute? Could it be due to the fact that no one at school is speaking to her because she called the cops and got everyone busted at the seniors' big end-of-summer party? Or maybe it's because her parents' only form of communication is Post-It notes written on their way out the door to their nine-to-whenever jobs. While Melinda is bothered by these things, deep down she knows the real reason why she's been struck mute...

This is another book that my daughter Riley recommended to me, a powerful book. Melinda’s inability to speak is related directly to what happened the night of the senior party; Melinda was raped.  Her life in high school is now miserable and she feels no one would listen even if she did speak. However, in the victorious ending, you cannot help but cheer when Melinda finds her voice and someone finally listens.

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