• Reviewed by Alyssa Carter-Dennis

    The day Melinda quit speaking

    The book Speak was written by Laurie Halse Anderson, it is a drama, the first date it was published in October 1999. Laurie tells a story of a high school girl dealing with bullying, and being hated, because of a summer party she accidentally busted. The place the book takes place, says she’s in school a lot and when she isn’t at school she’s in her room, reading.

    My favorite character is Heather, because even through all the drama Melinda goes through Heather is always there for Melinda. Like in the book when Melinda and Heather are at the assembly and people start throwing things at Melinda, Heather stayed with her the whole time and told her to not think about them; to ignore them. Heather hands Melinda a pom pom and Melinda tries to have a better time.

    The central conflict in the book is Melinda is bullied every day, people throw things at her and say rude things, and then one day she couldn’t take it anymore so she just shut down and never spoke again. Melinda never really resolves the problem because she’s been hurt too many times, she just wants it to go away and she thinks that if she doesn’t say anything than it will go away.

    Melinda was bullied for one reason and it was because she busted a high school party by calling the police. The police, her parents, her friends, and people she didn’t even know wouldn’t listen to her for why she called the police. They thought she was making things up because she was just a 14 year old. This is also why Melinda went silent, no one would listen to her so she gave up and didn’t speak. She says, “It’s easier not to say anything. Shut your trap, button your lip, can it. All that crap you hear on TV about communication and expressing feelings is a lie. Nobody really wants to hear what you have to say.” (130) She keeps trying to tell people why she called the cops, only she knows and she wants to deal with it to have it resolved. She never told anyone this but during the past summer before her first year of high school; she was raped by a high school boy; this is the reason she called the police but no one would listen to her. She needed to tell people why she called the police but still no one listened. Soon in the end of the book Melinda finally confronts the person who raped her and gets the respects she deserves.

    I rate this book with 5 stars because it’s showing people that you shouldn’t be afraid to have a voice. You have a right to tell someone when something bad happens to you; you should never keep it in and let the bad guy win. I recommend this book to high schools cause this day in age over 17 percent of high school students gets raped, and if they read this book maybe they will soon get a voice and speak up. I want to thank my reader/ listener for reading/listening to my presentation.