All member reviews for Speak

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Common Sense Media says

Controversial book about rape is powerful and painful.

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Quality(i)

 

Users say

(out of 123 reviews)
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
Review this title!
Teen, 16 years old Written byhtswimmer April 12, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

One of those books...

This is one of those books I just couldn't put down. I have read other good ones, but this one I stayed up late in the night just to get that one chapter in to find out more. The feelings and pain Melinda, the main character, shares with the reader is truly an experience. I watched the movie before the book because I didn't even know the book was out! But I loved the movie so much, I saw the book one day, bought it, and didn't put it down until it was finished. I read this when I was 14 I believe, and I would only recommend this book to ages 13+. DEFINITELY READ IT. :)
Teen, 14 years old Written byDarkMidnight January 29, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

These pages must be lined with gold, I couldn't stop reading!

Man, I just love this book! I would recomend it for ages 13 and over, but 12 year olds (depending on how mature they are) can read it too. It made me grind my teeth the way everyone bashed Melinda for crashing that party. For one, drinking parties- ugh, been to one (that was unintended) stupid, stupid, STUPID children. And Melinda was getting more depressed each day while holding in this awful secret that made her feel so much shame. I was on this book like politicians are on money, I couldn't put the thing down! Later on I heard that Andy Evans actually didn't get arrested! They let him go! Ahhg I was so angry!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written byKruti M. April 8, 2015
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Speak Spoke To Me !!

- Silence takes over Melinda Sordino’s freshman year in Merryweather High School. A past traumatic experience that happened in the summer led to a very complicated 1st year in high school. Aside from being completely mute in public, Melinda’s private and social life was a wreck. Slowly, she began to lose interest in everything, including her family and school. Abandoned and confused, Melinda looks for someone to comfort her. Since no one seems to care and listen, she privately talks about her feelings and other things in her head. - - The beauty of this novel is that the author captures the pain and trouble of everyday high school life with such honesty and emotion. Melinda's thoughts, fears and silence were solid and I was amazed at how the author was able to impose Melinda's silence on readers through the use of words. I especially enjoyed how the author incorporated art in Melinda’s life. It was a superb way to allow Melinda to express herself when words were beyond her reach. For example: On page 187, paragraph 4 it read; “He’s not chopping it down. He’s saving it. Those branches were long dead from disease. All plants are like that. By cutting off the damage, you make it possible for the tree to grown again. You watch—by the end of summer, this tree will be the strongest on the block.” This quote could be as easily applied to the tree as it could be to Melinda; she realizes she needs to cut down this dead damaged branches no matter how painful it may be to do so in order to grown again. This was a great quote that applied both to art and Melinda. - - I would have liked this book more if the story had a better outcome. Or if not a happy ending, at least a single good lesson would do. This book would have been better if it showed how important it is to speak and stand up for your rights, if it had shown the positive results of speaking and standing up yourself. That way this book might have encourage a lot of traumatized rape victims out there to share their stories or at least let them know that it's not the end for them. - - It was a very simple read and very realistic. The book portrays a great message of silence and how silence is used. It was a quick and easy teen read but it's also the kind that plays on your mind repeatedly after finishing it. Overall, I would rate this book a 4/5. The book did have its pros and cons in my opinion. But, at the end this book was well worth the read, even though it deals with the series matter of rape.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Educator and Parent Written by6714 September 8, 2011
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Speak

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent of a 7 year old Written bySIMZ December 1, 2009
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

Off for all ages.

This book had very descriptive sexual scenes and many more sexual remarks and comments. It was a very negative book - although it ended in a very positive way. The risks involved involved in being a 13 year old girl at a drunken party with men was never addressed (such as the possibility of rape!).
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Adult Written byte_quiero_mas April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

great book, but not a good read for children

this book is quite great, but it is meat for a teen audience. it's relatable to teens going through emotional issues or who feel like outcasts. this book helped me through some hard times and it is great, but a bot graphic i guess
Parent Written byBoulderParent April 3, 2013
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

Seemed inappropriate as a 'must-read' in middle school.

The fact that this book was written in response to a dream that a book author had, distorts the 'realistic' events and circumstances creating a platform of major disappointment for anyone who might try to use this book as a tool to cope with being raped. The characters in the book, the kids, the parents, the teachers, the students, etc. were very much disrespected, labeled, and not trusted, thereby creating a negatively biased idea of a system designed to help form a positive future for kids. Some of the visuals were akin to vomit~ we know it exists but to visualize is completely unnecessary. For example: the ever-changing school mascot of the Bengal Tigers includes a graphic description of photos of tigers that were skinned as a promo to ban the mascot idea- really?? Most of the book is very depressing reading with very little educational enrichment.
Adult Written bybeezer April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

wow

This is a book that truly speaks to the teenage mind. Though the content is a little innapropriate, the story is pieced together beautifully
Teen, 13 years old Written bygmvyoshi January 9, 2015
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Beautifully Written Novel.

"Speak" has changed my life and I'm sure has changed the lives of others. (¡SPOILER ALERT!) Sex-Melinda is overcoming a rape. She describes it in the last page of the book-how she was too young and too drunk to understand what was happening. Violence-Melinda was raped. In one scene, Andy Evans, the guy who raped her, beats her up in a closet and they are interrupted. Language-very mild, infrequent language includes: b--ch, s--t, and hell. Sex-Melinda is raped and this is, obviously the most discussed topic in this book because Melinda narrates it. Melinda, as she narrates, makes a comment about her school being the "Pride of the Trojans" "TROJAN" is a condom brand, but most kids wouldn't knows that, but may ask their parents about it. Melinda corrects herself, even though she said it purposely implying that she goes to a slutty school, by saying the "Pride of the Blue Devils," which is what it really is. Great book will grasp many readers with its stunning topic. The movie is great, too, and I also recommend the movie anyone ages 14 and up.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 11 years old July 6, 2014
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Great book, but can be sensitive for some kids

Overall, it's a really good book but there's some sex and sensitive subjects that might be uncomfortable for kids. Even so, I think this is a must-read book.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Too much sex
Teen, 13 years old Written byReba9497 March 6, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

12+!

It's hard to read, (I was weeping through it) but a powerful, strong story that teaches about trauma. If u look at the ratings at the end of the book it says that 1 out of 6 American women are sexually assaulted at some point in their life so I don't see why it's not appropriate to discuss it with pre teens. The book is awesome.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byswimgirl2405 June 22, 2009
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

im not quite sure

This book has a lot of dry, witty humor. It describes highschool in a very dark & depressing way. I think the way Laurie portrays the students is some what realistic. I have read this, and noticed that this book has received quite a number of awards that personally, I don't really think it deserves. It is quite boring and slow moving. I do understand this is the reality of highschool, but why would someone want to spend time reading a novel of this portrayl. I would rather be reading something with more of a story, plot-line, and really I could go on and on but I think you know what I mean now. Thanks for your time - ha.
Adult Written byCSM Screen Name... April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Important Book for High Schoolers

Although the subject matter here is serious, the book often finds a painfully funny way of dealing with it (as the other reviewer pointed out). It's an honest examination of why some students find high school difficult, and why everyone should consider how things look from someone else's point of view.
Teen, 14 years old Written bycbk102400 November 11, 2014
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

A Book That Everyone Should Read Before They Start High School

What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Kid, 11 years old October 27, 2013
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Know Sensitive Teens And PreTeens

I am eleven and I read it more than once and liked it. Although a terrribly dark theme, it also has educational values in how to avoid a situation like Melinda's and to show compassion and understanding to someone in that kind of pickle. The attack scene it's self isn't gory or graphic in details. Also in the same scene, drinking is briefly referenced. It is slightly censored, but still honest and a good look at honest reality.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written byflowers2909 April 14, 2013
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

A good book.

Some kids might get frightened at the part where she had a flashback of being raped. I know it frightened me. It is written very close to reality. All of the books by that author are amazing.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 15 years old Written bydaughterofhappiness March 29, 2013
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Speak

Speak is a story about Melinda, who has been raped at a party, and closes up about it. She tells nobody, not even her parents, and when she tries to tell a friend, they think she is lying. She questions whether the rape was her fault or not. As a freshman high school student facing rape, she also faces embarrassment, shyness, bad grades, cliques, backstabbing friends, and eventually having to face her rapist. Melinda finds solace in her art class, which she is assigned to draw a tree- which, at the end of the story, turns out to be a metaphor for something that is not always perfect, but can move on and grow more. Speak is a powerful story, and it's one I highly recommend, especially for middle and high school students.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old August 12, 2012
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Good REview. Out of a kids prospective. :)

i thought the plot of the story was amazing. I'm not that old so I thought that as i read Speak it would either confuse me and make me scared, but as i got deeper i absolutely loved the book. I finished it in about one in a held days ( considering the fact that I have dyslexia and I'm only 12) So BRAVO to Laurie Halse Anderson, she did a wonderful job and I can't wait to read a sequel if there is one! :)
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 13 years old Written byBritneyBritney July 19, 2012
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Very powerful

Book was pretty good, very powerful. It was really well-written, but it felt like there was something missing. I read this for a book report, and this book is great for that.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Too much sex
Teen, 14 years old Written bymisskates June 29, 2012
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Pretty Good

Anyone ages 13 and up can read this book. If your child is very mature for their age, they could probably read it younger than that. It is not very graphic and I did not find it inappropriate at all. It is a great book about helping the Melinda's of the world.
What other families should know
Educational value

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