Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Plummeting into depression after being raped, Melinda starts her freshman year of high school, friendless and alone. She's unable to speak, let alone tell anybody what happened, and her parents and teachers don't know what to do with her.
Obviously, it's a discipline issue, so she's grounded and watched and sent for in-school suspension. Nobody notices the signs--that she takes down her bedroom mirror, that she wants to do nothing but sleep, that she hides behind baggy clothes, that she has nightmares.
But the story isn't about her pain. It's about the seeds of love that a few people plant in her heart. Like her art teacher who won't give up on her. It's about finding herself under all the pain. As she learns to draw a tree, which is her years project, she finds that she is that tree, warped and twisted and broken, but that she has strong roots and she will survive.
It fills me with deep sadness and pain to think that someone would want to ban this book.
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