July 24, 2008

Speak - Laurie Halse Anderson

Our latest bookclub genre is adolescent fiction and the title that was picked out of the hat at our last meeting was Speak By Laurie Halse Anderson. I must admit I had never heard of the book or even the author but have since learnt that the book is on the required reading lists for many high schools - even in Australia. Having said that I still had to purchase the book through Amazon as I couldn't find it in any of our local bookshops which was a little frustrating.

Speak is an amazing story - for adolescents and adults.

The story is told from the point of view of Melinda - a 13 year old who is just starting high school as the story begins - don't we all remember (not always fondly) that time in out lives! A party has taken place just prior to the beginning of the school year and we learn more about the events that went on at that party as the story unfolds - it is enough to say that the events of the party lead to painful outcomes for Melinda as school begins.

The writing in this book is amazing - short, punchy, funny and lyrical at the same time. You feel Melinda's pain and you also feel her reaching out at times. The scenes with her art teacher and her lab partner are particularly beautiful.

Looking forward to sharing this book around.


Stephanie said...

I read this one...hmm, last year, maybe? It's great, and very thought-provoking. I'm VERY glad to see that it's making required reading lists in high schools. Maybe it will make someone stop and think about how their actions will harm others...LHA's Fever 1793 is also really good. :)

Karen said...

Thanks for letting me know Stephanie - I will look out for that one.

Luxembourg said...

Speak is about a girl named Melinda who called the cops on her friends high school party. Now at school, everybody hates Melinda for what she did that night, but nobody knows the truth about what really happened. Anderson wrote an amazing book about what teens have to deal with these days.