If only Melinda would speak, she could meet new friends. If only Melinda would speak, she could stand up for what she believes in. If only Melinda would just speak up, she would no longer have to be afraid.
In the 1999 National Book Award Finalist titled “Speak” (also a movie), Melinda Sordino is one of the most hated girls at school. Her old friends despise her. She ditches classes to take naps. New friends think she has a severe depression problem. Melinda Sordino never speaks. She lives in the constant memory of the “party” and how she ended it by calling the cops; she can’t get it out of her mind. It changed her. She lives in terror everyday fearing the one bully that makes her scream on the inside, also known as IT. Will he hurt her? Humiliate her? But when she finds out that one of her ex- friends is in trouble, she can’t just stand down. She has to face her fears, and speak.
“Speak” written by Laurie Halse Anderson is perfectly narrated by a sarcastic and slightly depressed teenage girl. Melinda’s attitude truly adds to the story and makes you wonder. “Speak” hits you deep in the heart because of the problems faced and how it changed the narrator. This book will affect all teens, but especially those who are/have been bullied. Because of cussing and inappropriate situations, I’d recommend it to kids 13 and older. “Speak” is short in length so you will be finished in no time. In fact, you’ll probably want the author to write a “Speak 2” just to see what happens to Melinda. If you like stories that take place in high schools or loved the movie “Cyber Bully,” you would absolutely adore this book. The ending will leave you pondering for a long time and Melinda may just inspire you. Whether it’s read as a family, in your bed, or aloud to a class, “Speak” is a very memorable book that will leave you with a smile.