Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Here's a brief blurb from Ms. Anderson's website: Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country.

My Take

I felt that it was important for me to review this book during Banned Books Week.  It's unfortunate that there are people (Wesley Scroggins) trying to ban this book.  It's the story of Melinda who is raped by an older boy.  She can't bring herself to tell anyone about it.  I can say from personal experience, the price of silence is a steep, costly one. 

This book was powerful and moving.  As the reader you can feel Melinda's quiet desperation.  The fear mounting as time goes on.  The changes in Melinda are profound though.  Over time she grows stronger and more sure of herself.  This is a beautiful book that should be a must read for girls everywhere, and maybe even boys too.  It was beautiful and profound.  Mr. Freeman the art teacher was my favorite adult character.  He was so encouraging and helped Melinda see that what she had to say was important.  That she could express it through the vehicle of her art as well.  I definitely recommend this book and am giving it four gentle kisses!

9 comments:

  1. I've read so many great things about this book. I'll definitely have to add it to the list. :)

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  2. Thanks for the review. I love how the blogger community has risen up in response- and thank you for doing your part.

    Visiting from YA Addict Comment Exchange Program
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  3. I've had this book in my classroom for several years and just bought another copy because of all the fuss generated on twitter. Gotta support our authors under fire!

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  4. Thank you for the thoughtful review. Today I wrote about the banning of this book on blog, which I think is such a shame. This is the kind of book every teenager should have access to.

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  5. This book is at the top of my list.

    I'm horrified that people are still so narrow-minded to consider banning books. It's appalling.

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  6. I think this is an important topic, and the book might help girls in similar situations to feel empowered. It is interesting to me that a man is spearheading the campaign to ban it.

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  7. This novel introduced an extremely controversial topic in society. Is it taboo, or do children have a right to know what it is about? Speaking about rape and the repercussions it has on teenagers is not a topic anyone wants to discuss, but it is a necessary topic to discuss. This novel introduced the topic in a good light, not going into too much detail about the actual event. Showing the feelings of a teenager after a rape has occurred is a phenomenal way to introduce the topic. Showing the depression it caused and how quickly said to be friends will turn their back in a time of need is a topic that many teenagers face on a daily basis.

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