Skip to main content

Book Review: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson


Melinda is having a bad start to her freshman year at high school. None of her middle school friends will talk to her and most of the other kids in school hate her. Her grades are dropping and she's struggling to talk - to teachers, to her parents, to anyone. It all stems from the fact that she called the cops during an end-of-summer party, and ruined what was a great night for most kids. Not for her.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is another frequently challenged book that I'm highlighting for Banned Books Week. It appears on the top 100 challenged books of 2000-2009. This is a powerful read. One that should not be banned, but rather handed out to every girl over the age of about 12. I plan to send my copy to my goddaughter, who is a sophomore in high school, if she hasn't read it yet. It is a must read for high school and college girls.

Melinda speaks to the reader directly, pulling us into her heart and mind. She is struggling so much with the secret that she hasn't shared with anyone, with the pain of being ostracized by her peers, with the emptiness she feels at home. While her biggest secret is something that I would hope most girls won't have to experience, I do think many of her feelings and issues in school are things most high school girls deal with ~ issues with losing friends and trying to fit in and boys.

Speak is a very quick and easy, yet emotional read. As noted above, I recommend it to anyone over the age of 12 or so. Many girls have found their voices and spoken up as a result of reading this book. I cannot recommend it enough.

My rating: 5/5

More about Speak

Thanks to Sheila at Book Journey for hosting a roundup of Banned Books Week posts each year! Head over to see more reviews and posts about books that have been challenged.


This review was written based on a copy of Speak that I think I won a while ago. It's been on my shelf for far too long. This post includes Amazon Affiliate links. If you purchase something using my link, I will receive a very small commission but your price does not change.

Comments

  1. This is a fabulous book! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm reading Speak right now and didn't realize it's been frequently challenged or banned! Thanks for sharing. I think it's a must read for teen girls as well - and it would be great if boys could read it too, to see how assault and irresponsible behavior can affect someone.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm reading Speak right now and didn't realize it's been frequently challenged or banned! Thanks for sharing. I think it's a must read for teen girls as well - and it would be great if boys could read it too, to see how assault and irresponsible behavior can affect someone.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Really enjoyed this book, too. It had a dark humor, too.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Popular posts from this blog

Banned Books Week: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park

This is the end of Banned Books Week and unfortunately, I haven't had a lot of time to write about banned books this year. But I did want to include at least one post about it, so today I wanted to share one of the book series that it seems most people are surprised to find on the list: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park.

According to Wikipedia:
The Junie B. Jones series came in at #71 on the American Library Association's list of the Top 100 Banned or Challenged Books from 2000-2009. Reasons cited are poor social values taught by the books and Junie B. Jones not being considered a good role model due to her mouthiness and bad spelling/grammar. This is an interesting example of a banned book. Many times there are serious, controversial topics featured in books that are challenged. Things like homosexuality, drugs, vulgar language, etc. You can actually understand why people may not want their children to read those books, and why they may challenge their inclusion in school libra…

April Reading Review

Where exactly did April go? I swear it was just the middle of March and now it's May. Once again, I'm going to provide a quick review of each of the books I read last month. For the last two weeks of the month, I participated in the Spring Into Horror Readathon hosted by Michelle at Seasons of Reading. The only rule was that you had to read at least one book that was horror, thriller, etc. I read one book that qualified. With the exception of the first book in my list, the books I mention below were read during the readathon


My book club's May selection was Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. I had started reading this nonfiction book about the author's work representing men, women and children who were on death row in March but finished the book in April. This is an eye-opening story that everyone at my book club discussion agreed should be required reading for law schools and police officers and even legislators who are making the laws related to judgements. I learned to…

Getting back to blogging

It seems that blogging has dropped to the bottom of my list for the past year, and was pretty low for the year or two prior to that. I love to read, and am continuing to do so, but as my regular readers know I haven't been around much. My last blog post was almost a year ago!!

There are many things that have taken me away from blogging. Work has been much more challenging and interesting these past few years, but that means I really don't want to get back on the computer when I get home at night - or on the weekends.

Family life has been more busy with kids having multiple activities in the evenings, leaving little time to just hang out and write about the books that I read.

I will admit to a bit of a Facebook addiction, which means way too much time spent scrolling through my newsfeed instead of doing something more productive. This is one of the things I'm working on and hoping that this will free up some time for getting back to the blog.

Overall, life is good. Work is …