Book Summary

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

For ninth-grader Melinda Sordino, the school year at Merryweather High School begins on a bad note. At the big end-of-the-summer party, Melinda called the police and got everyone in trouble. Now her friends refuse to associate with her and her fellow students at Merryweather hold her responsible for busting the party. No one ever asks her why she called the police, though, and Melinda is afraid to tell anyone because she thinks they will not understand. Not knowing what else to do, Melinda retreats into silence and hides there, with only her thoughts to keep her company. She starts skipping classes and becomes what the guidance counselors call a “discipline problem” and what other students call a “total loser”. Meanwhile, questions and fears and lies swirl around like a tornado in Melinda’s mind, wiping out her already low self-esteem and driving her into an inward turmoil. However, the thing that started all this, the moment that changed everything, keeps coming back to her, and she soon realizes she can supress it no longer. Melinda decides to face her worst enemy and fight back, using the only weapon that can overcome – her voice.