Speak

Speak

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The first ten lies they tell you in high school.

Speak up for yourself--we want to know what you have to say. From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication. In Laurie Halse Anderson's powerful novel, an utterly believable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself.

Speak was a 1999 National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature.

Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)
Published: 10/22/1999
Pages: 208
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 0.65lbs
Size: 8.50h x 5.80w x 1.00d
ISBN: 9780374371524
Age Range: 12-18

Accelerated Reader:
Reading Level: 4.5
Point Value: 7
Interest Level: Upper Grade
Quiz #/Name: 32480 / Speak

Award: New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association Award - Winner
Award: South Carolina Childrens, Junior and Young Adult Book Award - Winner
Award: Iowa Teen Award - Nominee
Award: Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award - Nominee
Award: Kentucky Bluegrass Award - Winner
Award: Black-Eyed Susan Award - Nominee
Award: Volunteer State Book Awards - Winner
Award: Rhode Island Teen Book Award - Nominee
Award: Heartland Award - Winner
Award: Sequoyah Book Awards - Winner
Award: Bookseller's Choice - Winner
Award: Edgar Allan Poe Awards - Nominee
Award: National Book Awards - Nominee
Award: Michael L. Printz Award - Honor Book
Award: L.A. Times Book Prize - Nominee
Award: Carolyn W. Field Award - Winner
Award: California Young Reader Medal - Nominee

Review Citation(s):
Publishers Weekly 09/13/1999 pg. 85
Booklist 09/15/1999 pg. 247
Kirkus Review - Children 09/15/1999 pg. 1496
Booklist 11/15/1999 pg. 618
Booklist Ed Choice Youth 01/01/2000 pg. 820
New York Times 03/12/2000 pg. 30
ALA Best Books Young Adults 01/01/2000 pg. 1340
ALA Recmd for Reluctant YA's 01/01/2000 pg. 1361
Hornbook Guide to Children 07/01/1999 pg. 92 - Outstanding, Noteworthy In Style
Booklist 11/15/2000 pg. 632
Hornbook Guide to Children 01/01/2000 pg. 92 - Outstanding, Noteworthy In Style
School Library Journal 10/01/1999
Library Journal 12/01/1999
Entertainment Weekly 10/15/2010 pg. 78

About the Author

Laurie Halse Anderson is a New York Times bestselling author of books for kids of all ages--including Fever 1793, Chains, Twisted, and many others. Known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity, her work has earned numerous national and state awards, as well as international recognition. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists. Anderson was honored with the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award given by the YALSA division of the American Library Association for her significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature.

Anderson was born in Potsdam, New York in 1961. Growing up, she loved reading and listening to family stories. She graduated from Georgetown University in 1984. Before becoming a full-time writer, she was freelance journalist, and then worked part-time at a bookstore to earn money while working on her fiction. Mother of four and wife of one, Laurie lives in northern New York, where she likes to watch the snow fall as she writes.