I read a powerful and inspiring book titled Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. It is about Melinda Sordino, a young girl struggling through her first year of high school as a social outcast. As Melinda has difficulties with the everyday problems of high school-homework, cafeteria lunches, pep rallies, art projects all compounded by the secret she can't tell. Melinda barely speaks ever since she called the police on something terrible that happened, the secret, to her at an end of the summer party that left her friendless. Laurie Halse Anderson compels you to find out why she does not speak and what happened to her.
I was moved by the strong plot. The way Laurie Halse Anderson puts together the book was interesting- not by chapters but events. On the first page there is a letter to the reader that starts like this,
“Speak is the book I wasn’t going to write. Why would I want to
revist the agonies of adolescence? Wasn’t that the point of
surviving adulthood- so I could block out the tramas of being
At first I could not understand what the letter meant until I finished the book. The letter caused me to think about how some of or all of the events in the book were based off Laurie Halse Anderson’s adolescence. It seemed so unreal to me. The passage showed me the dedication and difficultness of this author’s writing. I believe the dedication was shown through the words she chooses. Laurie Halse Anderson makes it feel like Melinda is a normal teenager with bad luck; Melinda seems like a real person. Specifically this line explained Melinda,
I have entered high school with the wrong hair, the wrong
clothes, the wrong attitude.
I am Outcast.
I found that Laurie Halse Anderson must have a difficult time writing this book because it was her high school year, it was based off.
I liked Melinda out of all the characters. She reminded me off a butterfly. She started as a common caterpillar. Then she went into her cocoon...