Monday, June 28, 2010

Speak by: Laurie H. Anderson

This book was awarded: 1999 National Book Award Finalist; School Library Journal Best Books of the Year; and Booklist Editors' Choice. After reading (well, actually listening to) this book, I found out there was also a Lifetime movie made out of it starring Kristen Stewart.

The story is about a young girl, Melinda, who was raped at a high school party and then proceeded to call the cops (out of fear of what was happening to her) and ended up gaining a bad reputation (for the cops showing up and busting the party) because no one knew the real reason she called the cops. She enters her first year in high school as a reject that no one (including her ex-best friends) will talk to. She makes friends with a new girl who realizes Melinda is a loser and that the longer she hangs out with her the less popular she becomes. Melinda forces herself into silence refusing to speak or show up to her classes. When her parents (who are barely together) catch wind of her behavior they get angry at her and choose to ignore that there is nothing really wrong. With some other challenging school behavior the story has a happy ending when Melinda is finally able to SPEAK up.

This was a great young adult realistic fiction book that would be great to raise awareness to young teens about high school peer pressure and parties. This book could also show the importance of one finding their voice and the impact they can have on others who might be in the same boat, afraid to speak out.

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