Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (web site)
Published April 23, 2001 by Puffin
Genre: Young Adult
Paperback 198 pages
Literary Awards: National Book Award Nominee for Young People's Literature (1999), Golden Kite Award for Fiction (1999), Horn Book Fanfare Best Book (2000), BCCB Blue Ribbon Book (1999), Edgar Award Nominee for Best Young Adult (2000) ...more Edgar Award Nominee for Best Young Adult (2000), Printz Honor (2000), South Carolina Book Award for Young Adult Book Award (2002), ALA's Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults (2000)
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.What a powerful book this was to read. It's been awhile since a book brought me to tears...a lump remained in my throat long after I closed the book. As a parent I know how clueless we can be sometimes but I was especially distressed to see how Melinda's parents couldn't see that there was something much deeper beneath the surface of their daughter. I would encourage parents to read this thoughtful story. Sometimes we forget how difficult it is to be a teenager on an average day let alone how it must feel to deal with such a traumatizing event such as rape. I felt the story was completely appropriate for a young adults to read and for those who wish to keep this compelling story out of hands of young adults are living in a fantasy world. We simply cannot shelter our children from all of the perils of the world. Writers like Laurie give a voice to teenagers and hope that anyone can survive the atrocities they might encounter in life. I've heard the phrase from parents that certain books are just too deep for someone so young however they are kidding themselves if they don't acknowledge that our kids are dealing with these "deep" issues now. I've added two other books written by this author, Twisted and Wintergirls. I will also be reading Lessons From a Dead Girl by Jo Knowles since it made the 2009/2010 Banned and/or Challenged book list. If you're interested in seeing this list and others check out Banned Books Week at the ALA site. While you're there check out the Banned Books map to see where in the world these books have been banned or challenged.
And Finally I will be wearing my "I'm With The Banned" t-shirt on Monday to celebrate this worthy cause!
You can buy your own at Upstart!