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Speak Hardcover – Oct 1 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: FSG Kids (Oct. 1 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374371520
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374371524
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 15.2 x 22.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (760 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #257,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
It is my first morning of high school. Read the first page
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BeatleBangs1964 TOP 500 REVIEWER on Sept. 2 2010
Format: Paperback
Melinda Sordino, 14 starts her freshman year of high school under a cloud. Ostracized by her peers for calling the police during a summer party she attended, Melinda is forced to fend for herself to a large extent.

Melinda's parents don't really communicate with her. Melinda's behavior hollers trauma - the extended silence and change in eating patterns as well as her poor grades are all red flags. One can cheer Melinda's logical refusal to answer rhetorical questions. It does make one wonder what the point of rhetorical questions are since the one asking them usually doesn't want an answer. It irked me that Melinda's parents would ask such foolish questions which in turn precluded any chance at discourse. It bothered me that Melinda said they were "heartbroken" once Melinda learned "the Santa lie," as she rightfully called it. It was sad that Santa was really more for them. (In "Twisted," the parents cling to Santa long after the kids wisely ditched him once they learned the truth. Santa is ostensibly for the kids, but really for the adults involved in the charade).

Melinda has also become quasi-mute. Only one girl attempts to befriend her. Heather, a transfer student is the only person who attempts to befriend Melinda. It turns out Heather has an agenda - she wants to be accepted by a clique called the Marthas (after Martha Stewart) who are held in high regard by teachers and administrators alike. The Marthas are known for doing home ec projects for the community and creating party motifs for school functions. Heather feels Melinda's artistic skills will give her a leg up with the Martha crowd.

There are notes of humor that offset the grim and serious subjects covered in this book.
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By Rp on May 18 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the book throughly, plot was kind of slow but the end was very good. Anderson gives an interesting outlook on the thoughts of a teen going through a difficult time.
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By Kassidy on Jan. 22 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I read this book when i was fifteen. I still remember it being one of the greatest and most heart wrenching books out there. You will certainly cry. Good thing the ending is good!
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By Corinne Heart on April 26 2012
Format: Paperback
This was probably my favourite book that I read all year during grade eight. I found that it helped me learn to research more about things like sexual abuse, drugs, and rape.
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Format: Paperback
this book was a little confusing in the begining but the middle and the end we awsome and i couldnt put the book down......it was like they wrote a book about me....i could relate so much.....i love books like this and if any1 knows 1 they should tell me! well you should read this book and dont put it down till your dun reading it!!!
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Format: Paperback
Speak is an amazing read for anyone. While it is targeted towards Young Adults, I think it would be a good book for parents to read as well. Perhaps parents could read more YA books and it might actually give them a better understanding of their own teenagers. This gives the reader a good insight into the theory that there are two sides to every story. Not only does the unspoken character have to deal with the horrid aftermath of rape pulling at her emotional soul, but she can't talk about it to anyone. Fear of rejection, peer pressure, and teen angst play a major part in this powerful coming-of-age story
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Q: Book Addict TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Nov. 20 2010
Format: Paperback
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Pages: 230
Source: Personal Copy
Category: Young Adult
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

Melinda Sordino is a typical high school teenager. She's entered the 9th grade, and she harbors a huge secret. One that is tearing her apart. Her first summer high school party ended with Melinda calling the police. Melinda starts her first year as an outcast. She can't speak to her friends, they're not talking to her, they consider her a snitch and teaser her every chance she gets. She can't speak to her parents, they're never home and Melinda is left alone, money left on the table to order food. Melinda has no one to turn to, she trusts no one. Melinda said nothing when students threw food at her, she said nothing when her best friend turned on her and told her she 'hated' her, she said nothing when she was abandoned by all. While everyone else seems to go on with their lives, Melinda is struck. She's stuck with her secret, she is stuck in her life. Melinda said nothing...while she was breaking inside.

Overall Impression:

I first heard about this book during 'Banned Books' week. I thought I really should read this one for myself, and then form an opinion on it. Honestly, this is a must read. High School for many teenagers is a bully's playground. In this novel, we really see the hurt Melinda is facing. While she wants to say something, she feels that she has no one to say it to. She is alone is a world that is out to get her. I loved how the novel really gets into Melinda's mind. The reader really sees the complex emotions she is dealing with. This is a very unique coming-of-age story. One that i'm sure will help teenagers in similar situations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Edwards on Dec 29 2009
Format: Paperback
Melinda is an outcast at school because she called the cops at the big end-of-year party. No one understands, and Melinda can't explain, because she can't seem to get the words out: "It is getting harder to talk. My throat is always sore, my lips raw. When I wake up in the morning, my jaws are clenched so tight I have a headache."

Worse, she keeps running into IT at school. She hates him, wants to kill him, but just ends up running away instead. Now Rachel is dating IT, and Melinda is worried. Will she be able to speak in order to protect her former best friend?

"Speak" was published over 10 years ago, but it continues to be extremely popular with teens, due to its genuine language and honest treatment of rape. This book is also used in many school programs.

This book is often challenged or banned based on its content. Although Anderson's treatment of the subject of rape is honest and authentic, it is not graphic.

"Speak" is compelling and powerful - a must-read.
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