Laurie Halse Andersons award-winning, highly acclaimed, and controversial novel about a teenager who chooses not to speak rather than to give voice to what really happened to her.
"Speak up for yourself - we want to know what you have to say." From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows that this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication. In this powerful novel, an utterly believeable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself.
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"The plot is gripping and the characters are powerfully drawn, but it is its raw and unvarnished look at the dynamics of the high school experience that makes this a novel that will be hard for readers to forget." - Kirkus Reviews
"An uncannily funny book even as it plumbs the darkness, Speak will hold readers from first word to last. " - Horn Book
"Anderson infuses the narrative with a wit that sustains the heroine through her pain and holds readers' empathy." - Publisher's Weekly
"A story told with acute insight, acid wit, and affecting prose. " - Library Journal
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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. Anderson 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 ". A wife and mother of four, Anderson lives in Northern New York, where she likes to watch the snow fall as she writes.
Laurie Halse Anderson: Halse rhymes with waltz
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"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
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