Speak by Laurie Halse Handerson
Since the beginning of the school year, high school freshman Melinda has found that it's been getting harder and harder for her to speak out loud: "My throat is always sore, my lips raw.... Every time I try to talk to my parents or a teacher, I sputter or freeze.... It's like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis." What could have caused Melinda to suddenly fall mute? Could it be due to the fact that no one at school is speaking to her because she called the cops and got everyone busted at the seniors' big end-of-summer party? Or maybe it's because her parents' only form of communication is Post-It notes written on their way out the door to their nine-to-whenever jobs. While Melinda is bothered by these things, deep down she knows the real reason why she's been struck mute: Andy Evans. He's a senior at Melinda's high school, and Melinda hasn't been able to speak clearly since the Incident with him at the senior party last August.
Laurie Halse Anderson's first novel is a stunning and sympathetic tribute to the teenage outcast. After reading Speak, it will be hard for any teen to look at the class scapegoat again without a measure of compassion and understanding for that person--who may be screaming beneath the silence. (Ages 13 and older) --Jennifer Hubert
My Semi-Quick Opinion:
In 10th grade on a trip to Barnes and Noble I was standing in the aisles and not one book was drawing me in. So I turned the girl next to me (who was about my age) and asked her if she had any recommendations. She immediately took the book Speak off of the shelf and handed it o me. Something along the lines of "This book is amazing." crossed her lips. So I decided to buy it. I read it soon after that and that girl was right. It was amazing. It was real and raw and beautiful and poignant. I consider this book a must read. If you haven't read it already, I highly suggest you do. But be prepared for some heavy content. And again, it's advised that you do not read this if you are 13 or younger. But if you are older than 13, definitely go out and read this as soon as you possibly can!
<3 Amanda Leigh