March 03, 2017

Module 7 Realistic Fiction

Book Cover:


Book Summary:
Melinda is ostracized at school when she calls the cops at a party. But we really don't know why the cops are called until later in the books. Melinda starts to not speak and we come to find out that Melinda was raped and her behavior was her way of trying to deal with it.

APA Reference of Book:

Anderson, L. H. (1999). Speak (1st ed.). New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.


I really identified with Melinda in this book. I pretty much loved school but sat in class and didn't participate or speak up and I just didn't get the whole hoopla about high school. I was bullied a lot in high school because I was quiet, always reading,  not good looking, wore funky clothes, and I wore glasses. Now as an adult I ask myself why didn't I ever say anything or do something about it. But I realize I was too scared and we didn't talk about things like that then.  So I totally got why Melinda was afraid even though I was not ever raped or even put into a situation close to this. The writing was authentic to me and I could see teens acting or speaking this way (or at least when I was a teen lol). One of the best realistic fiction books I have read (I don't tend to read a lot of this genre for teens I read more fantasy). I would recommend that all teens read this and discuss the issues in this book even though it is a tough topic and the tone in the book at times was dark or depressing.

Professional Review:

Gr. 8-12. Having broken up an end-of summer party by calling the police, high school freshman Melinda Sordino begins the school year as a social outcast. She's the only person who knows the real reason behind her call she was raped at the party by Andy Evans, a popular senior at her school. Slowly, with the help of an eccentric and understanding art teacher. she begins to recover from the trauma, only to find Andy threatening her again. Melinda's voice is distinct unusual, and very real as she recounts her past and present experiences in bitterly ironic, occasionally even amusing vignettes. In her YA fiction debut, Anderson perfectly captures the harsh conformity of high-school cliques and one teen's struggle to find acceptance from her peers. Melinda's sarcastic wit, honesty, and courage make her a memorable character whose ultimate triumph will inspire and empower readers.

Carton, D. (1999). Speak. The Booklist, 96(2), 247. Retrieved from

Library Uses:
This would be after the class has read the book. Read poems “Alone,” “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” and “Still I Rise.” by Maya Angelou who Melinda refers to in the story. Discuss why would Anderson use Maya Angelou as someone who Melinda finds comfort or strength in. Find parts in the poems that may have spoken to Melinda or that Melinda may have liked and discuss why.

My Rating: *****

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