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Transcript of Speak
About The Author
Laurie Halse Anderson
was born October 23, 1961, in Potsdam, New York. Her first publication was a picture book for children titled
and now she is the New York Times bestselling author who is known for talking about tough subjects in her books. She writes for kids of all ages, and her work has earned many awards, including ALA and state awards. Two of her books,
, were National Book Award finalists. Laurie lives in Northern New York with her husband, four daughters, and their dog where she likes to watch the snow fall as she writes. Other than writing, she spends her free time gardening and training for marathons.
Plot Summary Cont.
Heather, a new student, is Melinda's only friend and tries to get both of them to join the Marthas, a popular group of girls who do charity work and events.
Melinda, however, is not interested in cliques and spends her time in her safe haven, an abandoned janitor's closet at the school where she can avoid going to class sometimes. The only class she likes is art class, where she works on a year-long project to create different art pieces that captures the idea of a tree. In art class she expresses her feelings, even without realizing it. She creates sculptures and paintings that let her teacher, Mr. Freeman, see pain on her art.
1.Laurie Halse Anderson. (n.d.). Teenreads |. Retrieved August 14, 2014, from http://www.teenreads.com/authors/laurie-halse-anderson
10th Grade English
2. Pennsylvania Author. (n.d.). Pennsylvania Author. Retrieved August 14, 2014, from http://pabook.libraries.psu.edu/palitmap/bios/Anderson__Laurie_Halse.html
Melinda Sordino is a freshman at Merryweather High School in Syracuse, New York, and starting the year won't be easy for her. Over the summer, she and her friends went to a party where Melinda gets sexually abused and calls the police. Since no one knows the real reason she called the police for, everyone gets mad at her, and she finds herself with no one to talk to. This means that she starts the year with no friends and a horrible memory she can't get herself to tell anyone.
-House Party where Melinda gets drunk with three beers, and gets sexually abused by Andy Evans, aka IT.
-Laurie Halse Anderson
-Laurie Halse Anderson
-Sculpture Melinda makes out of turkey bones.
Plot Summary Cont.
In the school hallways, she occasionally sees Andy Evans, and she begins to face what he did to her. She starts realizing that what happened was real and she couldn't deny it. She grows depressed and starts ditching school. Her parents and guidance counselor talk to her about her low grades, but Melinda refuses to speak to them. However, after many months of silence and self-harm, Melinda finally admits to herself that Andy Evans raped her at the party last summer. She realized that it was okay to speak with someone, it was okay to say no.
-the tree Ivy teaches Melinda to make.
-Melinda's bad grades made her look like a rebel, when the truth was that she was dealing with a secret no one knew. She didn't speak because she didn't feel strong enough to do it.
Plot Summary Cont.
She makes the choice to finally speak when Andy starts dating Rachel, her former best friend. While Rachel does not believe Melinda, Melinda begins to feel free after speaking up. She takes up new hobbies, like gardening. She no longer needs Heather's false friendship and begins to reconnect with her former friend Ivy over their art project. She gains confidence when she sees other girls think Andy Evans is a creep, as it is written on a bathroom stall. As the school year comes to an end, Melinda is forced to confront Andy once again when he corners her in her janitor's closet. She defends herself and everyone knows what Andy has done to her. She earns the respect of the school as many other girls have also suffered Andy's attacks silently. Rachel apologizes and she suddenly becomes popular. She ends the year by finishing her tree and sharing what has happened to her with her art teacher, Mr. Freeman.
About Melinda Sordino
Melinda Sordino is a fourteen-year-old girl who is in 9th grade. She lives in Syracuse, New York, which has long and cold winters. She goes to Merryweather High, home of the Hornets. At school Melinda finds herself within various cliques, but she doesn't belong to any. She thinks of herself as an outcast. She experiences conflicts with many things, like school, friends, but mostly with speaking up. She has conflicts because she has been raped, and she has a hard time accepting it. Her life changes completely after that. She becomes quiet and cynical, hurting herself by making her lips bleed and scratching her wrist with a paper clip. Her grades start lowering, she cuts class and she becomes depressed. It does not help her parents constantly fight and don’t get along, or that her only friend, Heather, has decided to ditch her. Her parents are worried about her, but are always at work and don’t do anything to help her. They think she won't speak just to get attention. She finds her safe haven, the abandoned janitor’s closet, where she spends a large amount of time in.
Melinda decided to stay in the shade and don’t tell anyone what happened, even at first denying to herself she was raped, but when she finds out Rachel (her former best friend) is going out with Andy, and that she might be endangered, she decides that she needs to speak up, not just for herself but for every girl that may have been or could be abused by Andy. She begins to change for good, and finally can speak up for herself.
Sept. 1, 2014
Melinda is a normal fourteen year old, she has her group of friends,
has a B average at school, and might have been excited about high school.
The thing is everything changes for her after being raped at a party. She looses
her friends and she feels conflicted, depressed, and lonely. During the ninth grade
she suffers by herself, expressing it in self harm, like lip biting and scratching her
wrist with a paper clip. Besides having to deal with her secret alone, she is bullied
at school and that reminds her of the party. She relives that moment each time she
sees IT. All this conflict affects Melinda in many ways, but what caught the adults' attention is her grades. She starts failing and skipping school. She becomes another person, she has lived a nightmare. She stops talking to mostly anyone and only says what's necessary. Melinda is not sure if she was raped. This might be because she was dancing with Andy and, before she was raped, wanted Andy as her boyfriend. She finds her answer while watching talk shows when she stays home instead of going to school. At first she might have thought it was her fault, but with the talk shows help she realizes that she shouldn't be ashamed, Andy should.This and other situations, like Rachel being endangered, make Melinda understand she can speak up, and that way she will help herself and others. What defines her character at the end is the strength it takes
for Melinda to fight against the injustice that is rape and the loyalty she has
for the people she cares about.
-Melinda Sordino, in the movie based on the book.
-Melinda, as I imagine her.
Heather is a new girl who comes from Ohio. Her goal is fitting in and being popular, she wants to join a club for every day of the week. She ends up being Melinda's friend on the first day of school but later ditches her for the Marthas, a popular club of girls. Melinda often uses Heather because she has nobody else. Even though she doesn't like her, she pretends to be her friend. Heather uses her too, at first she seems to be a real friend, but she is not since she never tries to find out why Melinda is so quiet or why everyone is mad at her. Heather sticks with Melinda until the Marthas tell her to blow her off, and she tells her in a mean way why she can't be her friend and why she needs professional help. She even gives Melinda back her friendship necklace for Valentine's Day inside a Valentine's Day card. Even after she treats Melinda like this, she comes over to Melinda's house to make Melinda help her decorate the prom for the Marthas. This shows that Heather is insensitive and manipulative, since she thought Melinda would help her thinking she was so lucky to get her friend back.
3.Anderson, L. H. (n.d.). Laurie. Mad Woman in the Forest. Retrieved August 14, 2014, from http://madwomanintheforest.com/laurie/
4. Anderson, L. H. (1999). Speak. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux.
-What Heather looks like in the movie. In the book she has orthodontia on. Plus they meet in the auditorium, not the bus. In fact, Heather doesn't go in the same bus as Melinda.
Rachel and Melinda have been best friends for a long time.
You can tell she is important to Melinda. Before Melinda was raped she wanted Rachel to see Andy flirting with her. And after the police incident and rape Melinda wants to tell Rachel the truth more than to anyone else. The thing is Rachel won't listen to Melinda, she feels betrayed. She believes that Melinda called the cops on the party just to get everybody in trouble. When Melinda tries to talk with Rachel in the school bathroom, Melinda thinks, "I don't want to be cool. I want to grab her by the neck and shake her and scream at her to stop treating me like dirt. She didn't even bother to find out the truth – what kind of friend is that?" (Anderson, 1999, p. 21). This makes Rachel look like a terrible friend;she never bothered to know the truth. Especially since they have been best friends for nice years. When Melinda tells her she was raped Rachel doesn't want to believe her, though she pushes Andy away at prom when he tries to touch her. This means Melinda might have saved Rachel from being raped. At the end of the novel, Rachel tries to fix things with Melinda after Andy attacks Melinda a second time by calling her. Now that Rachel knows the truth, she can understand Melinda's actions.
-Rachel/Rachelle at the library, in the movie.
Andy Evans (IT)
Andy is a high school senior who seems to have a long history of sexual abuse. When Melinda scribbles on the bathroom to stay away from him, you can see Melinda is not the first girl raped by Andy, nor is she the first to keep quiet about the attack. Girls say he tried to touch them at movie previews and other scenarios. Andy is the antagonist and throughout the book we can see him scaring Melinda after what he did to her. All the girls like him since he is good looking, although there are rumors of him not keeping his hands to himself. Melinda at first even calls him a greek god. We never find out why Andy raped girls. Melinda throughout the book calls him IT or Andy Beast.
-Andy and Melinda, this is the scene where Melinda speaks up to Andy and says no.
David is a smart and respectful guy. He is part of the Cyber-genius Clan. David is one of the few people who treats Melinda nicely. He's in Melinda's social studies class and is her lab partner in biology. David suspects something is going on with Melinda and he watches out for her. He always tells her to speak up her mind. David seems to care for Melinda because he invites her to join him and some friends for pizza after a basketball game, but she refuses. Melinda wants to go but another part of her is too scared of being raped again. David shows Melinda a lesson by speaking up for his rights and being brave.
-David and Melinda in social studies
Ivy used to be a Plain Jane along with Melinda, Nicole, and Rachel. She wasn't at the party where Melinda called cops and doesn't seem to have any reason to be mad at Melinda. Although she is not friendly with her at first Ivy proves she is a good friend to Melinda over the year. Art draws them together. Ivy helps Melinda with her tree and they compliment their artwork. Ivy is Melinda's only real friend throughout the book,and Melinda hints to Ivy that something happened with Andy Evans. Ivy and Melinda's friendship is noticeably real. They genuinely appreciate each other and have similar interests. Their friendship is a contrast to the friendship between Melinda and Heather.
Mr. Freeman is the art teacher and gives heartfelt speeches even though he says images are just as or even more important than words. Melinda thinks he is ugly and that he has a grasshopper body. But soon Mr. Freeman is her favorite teacher and art class helps her with her emotions. Mr. Freeman treats students well, and tries to show them the reality of his life, beyond his role as teacher. His rants about the school board let Melinda see Mr. Freeman speaking the truth, even if it could get him into trouble. Mr. Freeman helps Melinda in ways that nobody else is able to do. He shows her he can relate to her suffering. An example is the turkey bone sculpture Melinda does. Mr. Freeman says he sees a girl who had a bad holiday. He always tells Melinda the truth, whether he likes her artwork or not. Melinda appreciates the honesty Mr. Freeman gives her. Mr. Freeman can see that something is wrong with Melinda and tells her if she ever wants to talk he is there for her. At the end of the book Melinda confides with him about the rape. She tells him what happened because of all the trust he gave her, and because he cared.
-Ivy in art class.
-Mr. Freeman and Melinda, in the movie. This scene doesn't happen in the book, but in them movie, Melinda shows Mr. Freeman her closet.
About the Author
My Opinion about the book
Speak was an amazing book. It talks about issues that many young girls might have gone through and shows the reality of high school. The cliques are portrayed in a truthful way and it is also true that one mistake can make you an outcast. This book can be enjoyed by anyone since all of us have been/are in high school. Even if you don't relate to Melinda, you will see yourself in one of the other characters.
Even though of her past, Melinda is a normal girl and you can hear her being authentic and fun. I like her voice because in other books, you can notice characters are made to be liked or hated, but with Melinda it's different since you can notice she is just being herself. I found myself in many parts of the book wishing I could tell Melinda I would be her friend. I truly loved the book for its honesty and reality, but I do wish the end was a bit more detailed and explained more about what happened after IT was caught. Even though I would have liked a detailed ending I do like how it ends with Melinda telling Mr. Freeman. This book can be recommended for any teenager who might be feeling like and outcast or maybe just needs a friend. Melinda will understand you.
I really loved this book! I hope you liked my prezi :)