Speak (Laurie Halse Anderson)
By Draco Malfoy,
the story of Melinda Sordino’s rape, recovery, and confession. After being raped at a party, Melinda is ostracized by her peers because she will not say why she called the police. Unable to verbalize what happened, Melinda nearly stops speaking altogether, expressing her voice through the art she produces for Mr. Freeman’s class. This expression slowly helps Melinda acknowledge that she was raped, face her attacker, and recreate her identity.
I open up a paper clip and scratch it across the inside of my left wrist. Pitiful. If a suicide attempt is a cry for help, then what is this? A whimper, a peep? I draw little windowcracks of blood, etching line after line until it stops hurting. It looks like I arm-wrestled a rosebush.
Mom sees the wrist at breakfast.
‘I don’t have time for this, Melinda.’
She says suicide is for cowards. This is an uglynasty Momside. She bought a book about it. Tough love. Sour sugar. Barbed velvet. Silent talk. She leaves the book on the back of the toilet to educate me. She has figured out I don’t say too much. It bugs her.
Book Title Speak
Author Laurie Halse Anderson