Speak (by Laurie Halse Anderson) c.1999

[Juvenile Fiction]

A terrifying and tragic year unfolds for fourteen-year-old Melinda  as she begins high school. A former popular girl, Melinda is ostracised by her classmates and peers for calling the police at a party for a reason learned later in the novel. Unable to tell neither the authorities nor her parents, Melinda spends her freshman year of high school in constant turmoil and despair.

Anderson writes beautifully, and the audience will feel Melinda’s pain while reading…

“I have no friends. I have nothing. I say nothing. I am nothing. ”
Anderson artfully includes dialog in her book, where often Melinda’s responses are:


While this book is intended for Young Adult readers, adults can appreciate the sincerity of Anderson’s first novel, which is terrifyingly beautiful.

It also won serious acclaim being a National Book Award finalist, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, School Library Journal’s Best Book of the Year, and for receiving the 1999 Golden Kite Award.

Speak is also on the American Library Association’s top 100 Challenged Books from 2000-2009.

If you liked Speak try:

Monster by Walter Dean Myers

Inexcusable by Chris Lynch

Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson

For something a LITTLE different, try:

Shift by Jennifer Bradbury

For something REALLY different, try:

Night by  Elie Wiesel

Review by Carlen


2 thoughts on “Speak (by Laurie Halse Anderson) c.1999

  1. Pingback: Martha’s Favorite Banned Books « Lake Bluff Library Blog

  2. Pingback: Hunger (by Jackie Morse Kessler) c. 2010 « Lake Bluff Library Blog

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