Friday, June 26, 2009
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
I want to speak after I read this - I want to tell everyone I can to read this story. To read this story and then to listen very closely for the silence of those teenagers in your life. That is sometimes the only way they can really communicate!
Mel begins freshman year as an outcast by choice. As the world moves forward Mel is stuck – the words are stuck in her throat, her forward motion is stuck, her life is stuck. But, you the reader, don't really know why she is stuck... there are clues. But it's late in the book that Mel actually tells what happened that night at the party before school started.
Mel is ostracized for calling the cops on a party – when she was actually reporting something very different that underage drinking. How do you fit in after that? How do you get to the point where you even want to fit in? That is what Mel explores through this yearlong journey.
I don't want to say too much...I don't want to give anything more away. But, this is a heartbreaking story of a girl who just doesn't know how to move on. And then a teacher, not a cardboard cut-out adult, but a flesh and blood teacher, starts to break through Mel's shell.