[…] Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. A new read for me. I read this just recently and have fallen in love with the author and her works of young adult fiction. Melinda’s cursed beginning to high school and her wretched secret pull at your heart as you watch her bullied inside and out. Her other works including historical fiction books Chains and Forge are well written and would be excellent for the young and old. […]
[…] I found out that two killer YA novels were available — Rumble Fish by S.E. Hinton and Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Each class voted for a book to read — one picked Rumble Fish and the other picked Speak. So […]
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is a 198 paged book written in 1999 and published by Penguin Putnam Inc. It is a young adult book that is taught in many different freshman English classrooms since it does have a 9.4 grade level on the SMOG readability test. This book deals with the freshman year of a girl who was raped at a party the summer between middle school and high school. She doesn't tell anyone what happened. Speak dissects the multiple difficulties she encounters as she keeps silent about what happened to her and how her reactions cause her parents, basically the entire student body and most teachers to react negatively towards her. It also looks at how Melinda, the main character, finally comes to terms with what happened to her and her confrontation of the rape and rapist; ending with her finally telling her story. This book has been criticized and censored as a teaching tool due to the subject matter being considered too `difficult' and `dark' for such a young audience and the plot being too `formulaic.' The plot is a bit formulaic but this only accents the bare honesty of Melinda's troubles and the complex emotions she is feeling. Personally, I believe this book to be very true to life, correctly depicting the reactions of a rape victim who turns survivor. The subject matter is dealt with in a very true and honest manner, something that is important for this grade level. This book looks at a very real problem and deals with it in a very real way. Thus this subject matter is made appropriate for the grade level through the way it is written about and the conversations it than creates. Speak is the most true to life book I have found on this subject matter at any readability or grade level and I highly recommend it to anyone who can deal with an honest portrayal of a horrible occurrence.
[…] Banned Books Week Virtual Read Out (more to come on this, promise). I chose to read an excerpt of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, because I’ve loved this book for years along with just about […]
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