SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson

SPEAK

Age Range: 12 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

A frightening and sobering look at the cruelty and viciousness that pervade much of contemporary high school life, as real as today’s headlines. At the end of the summer before she enters high school, Melinda attends a party at which two bad things happen to her. She gets drunk, and she is raped. Shocked and scared, she calls the police, who break up the party and send everyone home. She tells no one of her rape, and the other students, even her best friends, turn against her for ruining their good time. By the time school starts, she is completely alone, and utterly desolate. She withdraws more and more into herself, rarely talking, cutting classes, ignoring assignments, and becoming more estranged daily from the world around her. Few people penetrate her shell; one of them is Mr. Freeman, her art teacher, who works with her to help her express what she has so deeply repressed. When the unthinkable happens—the same upperclassman who raped her at the party attacks her again’something within the new Melinda says no, and in repelling her attacker, she becomes whole again. 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. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: Oct. 22nd, 1999
ISBN: 0-374-37152-0
Page count: 198pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1999




MORE BY LAURIE HALSE ANDERSON

ChildrenTHE IMPOSSIBLE KNIFE OF MEMORY by Laurie Halse Anderson
by Laurie Halse Anderson
ChildrenFORGE by Laurie Halse Anderson
by Laurie Halse Anderson
ChildrenTHE HAIR OF ZOE FLEEFENBACHER GOES TO SCHOOL by Laurie Halse Anderson
by Laurie Halse Anderson

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

FictionIF JACK'S IN LOVE by Stephen Wetta
by Stephen Wetta
ChildrenOCD, THE DUDE, AND ME by Lauren Roedy Vaughn
by Lauren Roedy Vaughn
ChildrenMISTER DEATH'S BLUE-EYED GIRLS by Mary Downing Hahn
by Mary Downing Hahn