Anderson, Laurie Halse. Speak. New York: Penguin Group, 2003. Print.

ISBN 014131088X


Written by: Laurie Halse Anderson

Reviewed by: Khanh Tran

Recommended Audience: Teenagers

The book  Speak of Laurie Halse Anderson tells a story about a teenage girl, Melinda Sordino, that started High School the wrong way, she busted an end-of-summer party. Melinda, a teenage girl with, like all normal 14 years old, all the “important business” to worry about rather than study or chores. But that was not what Melinda’s world looks like. Melinda’s world was full of days of crying in the corner with hope that no one would listen, in other people’s eyes, she was a weird kid that no one would be friend with. She yearned for attention, for someone who was understanding and close enough to share her big secret, a secret from the horrible night that she would do anything just to forget. Instead, the attentions toward her were not the attention she wanted. Everyday in school was another day of torture to Melinda, she started cutting school. The school noticed her absences and reported to her parents. Her parents, who works always the priority in their lives, started noticing their daughter more. That was what hurt her the most, for she just can’t brought herself to tell her parents what was going on with her. She tried telling other people. No one trusted her. When Melinda darkest truth finally revealed, it wasn’t a very happy day at Merryweather High.

Is attention good? Or it is a double-edge knife? “Speak”. The name has said it all. The book encourages people to speak up for themselves. In the book, Melinda desperately crying out for help through her actions. Her ultimate triumph at the end of the book is an encouragement for speaking up against bullying.

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