"Speak up for yourself—we want to know what you have to say."
A timeless novel about consent and finding the courage to speak up for yourself, the twentieth anniversary edition of the classic novel that has spoken to so many young adults now includes a new introduction by acclaimed writer, host, speaker, and cultural commentator Ashley C. Ford as well as an afterword by New York Times-bestselling author of All American Boys and Long Way Down, Jason Reynolds. This edition will also feature an updated Q&A, resource list, and essay and poem from Laurie Halse Anderson.
From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether.
Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication.
Praise for Speak:
“In a stunning first novel, Anderson uses keen observations and vivid imagery to pull readers into the head of an isolated teenager. . . . Will leave readers touched and inspired.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“An uncannily funny book even as it plumbs the darkness, Speak will hold readers from first word to last.”
—The Horn Book, starred review
Accolades for Speak:
New York Times Bestseller
Publishers Weekly Bestseller
Michael L. Printz Honor Book
National Book Award Finalist
Edgar Allan Poe Award Finalist
Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist
ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults
ALA Quick Pick
Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
Booklist Top Ten First Novel
BCCB Blue Ribbon Book
School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
About the Author
Laurie Halse Anderson is a New York Times-bestselling author whose writing spans young readers, teens, and new adults. Combined, her books have sold more than 8 million copies. She has been nominated three times for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists, and Chains was short-listed for the prestigious Carnegie medal. Laurie was selected by the American Library Association for the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award and has been honored for her battles for intellectual freedom by the National Coalition Against Censorship and the National Council of Teachers of English.
In addition to combating censorship, Laurie regularly speaks about the need for diversity in publishing. She lives in Philadelphia, where she enjoys cheese steaks while she writes.
Praise for Speak:
"In a stunning first novel, Anderson uses keen observations and vivid imagery to pull readers into the head of an isolated teenager. . . . Yet Anderson infuses the narrative with a wit that sustains the heroine through her pain and holds readers' empathy. . . . But the book's overall gritty realism and Melinda's hard-won metamorphosis will leave readers touched and inspired." —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"An uncannily funny book even as it plumbs the darkness, Speak will hold readers from first word to last." —The Horn Book, Starred Review
"A frightening and sobering look at the cruelty and viciousness that pervade much of contemporary high school life, as real as today's headlines. . . . The plot is gripping and the characters are powerfully drawn . . . a novel that will be hard for readers to forget." —Kirkus Reviews, Pointer Review
"Melinda's pain is palpable, and readers will totally empathize with her. This is a compelling book, with sharp, crisp writing that draws readers in, engulfing them in the story." —School Library Journal
A story told with acute insight, acid wit, and affecting prose. —Library Journal
Melinda's voice is distinct, unusual, and very real as she recounts her past and present experiences in bitterly "Ironic, occasionally even amusing vignettes. . . . Melinda's sarcastic wit, honesty, and courage make her a memorable character whose ultimate triumph will inspire and empower readers." —Booklist
Praise for Speak: The Graphic Novel:
“[Emily Carroll] should be recognized as one of the best graphic storytellers out there.”
—Kate Beaton, author of Hark! A Vagrant
“What a talent. What a voice.”
—Mark Siegel, author of Sailor Twain, or The Mermaid in the Hudson
“Carroll knows how to capture uncomfortable emotions—guilt, regret, possessiveness, envy—and transform them into hair-raising narratives.”
—New York Times Book Review