Anderson, L. H. (1999). Speak. New York: Penguin.
This novel relates the story of Melinda Sordino, a young girl in Syracuse, New York, who is brutally raped at a party given by one of her friends. She calls the police for help, and they arrive to find only a teen party with alcohol. Because none of her friends know about the rape, they believe she called the cops to bust them. As a result, they make her an outcast. She spends her entire ninth-grade year coming to terms with happened to her and finding the voice she lost as a result of her trauma to tell the truth. This story is heartbreaking and uplifting and allows for great discussion in and out of the classroom.
Commentary and Text Connections:
Melinda Sordino is starting her freshman year known as the girl who ratted out all of the cool kids. After all of her middle school friends have already found their place in the high school hierarchy, Melinda is left to fend for herself. This story is a classic representation of contemporary realistic fiction. Students will be able to understand and connect with Melinda. Having novels such as Speak that are current and extremely relevant will allow students to see themselves in the novels housed in the library.