Module 5: Speak

7 07 2010

Book Cover

Summary: Melinda doesn’t have it easy. Not only is she starting ninth grade, but everyone in the school hates her for calling the cops at a end of summer party. Ever since the party she has had to deal with an overwhelming depression due to a horrible event that happened that night which she is unable to speak even to herself. Melinda must learn how to find happiness in her life and move past what has happened to her. She must learn how to find hope and how to find her voice again.

Citation: Anderson, Laurie Halse. (2006). Speak. New York: Penguin.

My Impressions: I had a little trouble getting into this book at first. Not only did Melinda seem a little too insightful, but until I knew why she was depressed I wasn’t able to connect with her too well. However, as Melinda’s story was revealed I wasn’t able to put the book down. It was great watching her work through her depression, to find hope and her voice, and very realistic. I think many young people will be able to connect with this book.


“This is a compelling book with sharp, crisp writing that draws readers in, engulfing them in the story.” –School Library Journal

“An uncannily funny book even as it plumbs the darkness, Speak will hold readers from the first word to the last.” –Horn Book

Library Use Suggestion: This would be a good book to use when talking about rape and depression. Both are more common than we like to believe, particularly among adolescents. Through the main character Melinda the reader can learn how to deal with both subjects. This can open up conversation to talk with students about how to deal with emotional problems and sexual abuse such as who to reach to and what to do if it happens to them or a friend.