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Tuesday, October 19, 2010


By Laurie Halse Anderson

Reviewed by Abigail N., BCCHS student

The book Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson leaves a teenage girl speechless after she busts an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, leaving about everyone she know hating her. Struggling with school, friends, and family, she soon goes into a strong depression leading her to do things such as cutting class, spacing out, and hurting herself. She is now challenged to survive high school while encountering bullying, suicidal feelings, and rape along her way. The dark tale of her experiences were now eating her alive little by little each passing day she went without speaking. What happens to her in the end of her first year in high school? You’ll need to find out on your own...

This tough, tender, funny story of a teenage outcast is a great book. Its abundant way of making the text so visual and its way of making the book humorous is upright, but just like any other book it does have its weaknesses. Some of those weaknesses would be unclear or confusing parts, and flashback confusions, but overall I'd definitely give it two thumbs up.

This book, much like others, sends out a message to people going through the same thing, or a somewhat related situation in the story. For example, in the book The Freedom Writers Diaries a class of students write about their everyday lives which also included their struggles. The book inspired many people with the message it was sending, that anything is possible if you set your mind to it. Speak also sends a message, but the message of speaking up instead of keeping your problems or feelings bottled up.

Therefore, on a one-through-five scale, I would give this book a good solid four. The reason being is that I found the book to be very good, the format was well put and the story it told was very interesting. Though there were some parts that weren't as great as others, I really enjoyed taking the time to read this book.

I would recommend it to anybody, but mostly to those that don't want to speak but would like to be heard.

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