‘Speak’ By Laurie Halse Anderson

Here’s a guest book review by student volunteer Ella: “You have to know what you stand for, not just what you stand against.”

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is a telling story that navigates high school and its challenges but also serves as a lesson that needs to be told. The main character, Melinda, definitely has her struggles that many teenagers can understand, from feeling lonely to powerless to becoming an outcast for trying to do the right thing. But under all this negative noise from her peers, she had good reason to bust the end-of-summer party by calling the cops—she was raped by an upperclassman. Melinda had a hard time coping with this inexplicable event and she at first only confided in herself. But through the power of art and expression, Melinda finally decides that this event needs to be faced.

Speak is a novel that any teenager can relate to—the feeling of being alone to the importance of self-expression. Speak tears down one stereotypical belief that students/kids don’t have a voice or power to change something. I would recommend Speak to any teenager or adult who is in need of a confidence boost and wants to learn the importance of speaking up and speaking out.

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