Saturday, February 6, 2010

Speak- Laurie Halse Anderson

Here is a modern day classic.
This is the book that made Laurie Halse Anderson a major figure in young adult literature.
They even made a film of it!  And it has Kristen Stewart in it (you know, Twilight girl, looks just like me [or so I'm told by like EVERYONE]).
You can buy both of them on the left, if you are so inclined.

But let me tell you why this book is so groundbreaking.

It's about a new freshman, Melinda.  Melinda is a pretty regular girl.  She has some friends, does normal high school things, but not so much anymore.

See, over the summer, she was raped by a senior student at a party.
She didn't tell anyone.
Thus, she did not Speak. 
It's taking a toll on her.  She's screwing up in school, doesn't know how to talk to her friends, feels so out of place, so worthless, so in pain still, but she refuses to even think about it.
She just goes through the motions of being in high school, wondering why everything she draws in art class has to involve a tree, and everything another girl draws has to involve a clown.

There's a lot to think about here.  You think about how odd high school really is, since most of the time Melinda is just observing.
You wonder why some guys are so popular even though they're horrible people who rape incoming freshmen.
You wonder what the point of it really is.
You wonder whether she should speak, or should she stay silent?
Will he hurt another girl?
Will Melinda ever be able to move on from it?

P.S.- Interesting fact: this book is published by Speak.

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