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Transcript of Speak
Created by: Olivia, Allegra, Josie, and Isis
Merryweather High School
All About the Author
What is Laurie Doing Currently?
Other Books By The Author
Laurie was born October 23, 1961.
Started her career as a freelance journalist.
Her breakout novel was Speak, published in 1999.
All of her novels include "tough" topics including rape, family dysfunctions, body issues, and disorders.
Laurie appreciates all the support she receives from her fans, and takes the time to respond to all of her fan mail.
Thank You, Sarah
She is a freshman in high school who experienced a traumatic event at party during the summer. Everyone hates her and her friends won’t talk to her. She hides herself in a shell and slowly throughout the year, she starts coming out.
They avoid Melinda most of the time and are absent. They tend to argue a lot because of Melinda, causing more unhappiness for her.
He is Melinda’s art teacher. He greatly impacts her. He puts so much emotion into everything and really knows what he’s talking about. He knows something is wrong with Melinda and try’s to help her, eventually she’ll open up to him.
Speak takes place in Syracuse, New York.
At school, (while trying to escape Mr. Neck) Melinda finds a janitors closet that isn't being used. She uses this place as a safe haven. She puts her artwork, a comforter and other things to make the room more comfortable. She goes here to skip school and take a break from life.
This is the school where Melinda and her classmates attend. The book goes through Melinda's freshman year from her point of view. She doesn't exactly like it here between her teachers and classmates.
This is Melinda’s brilliant biology lab partner. He seems to care about Melinda. He is also very brave and stands up for what he believes in.
Andy Evans, "IT", Beast
Andy caused Melinda’s problem. He continues to haunt her throughout the year.
This is Melinda’s ex best friend. She stopped talking to her for the same reasons everyone else did. She hangs out with the foreign language group. She dates Andy Evans and later dumps him.
One of Melinda’s ex friends. Who also stopped talking to her. She slowly starts talking to her again by complementing her art. She’s one of the few people who try to understand her.
She is a new girl from Ohio. She doesn’t know anyone and starts talking to Melinda. She is free-spirited. She eagerly wants to impress the Martha’s clan. And eventually, tells Melinda she doesn’t want to be her friend anymore.
He is Melinda’s history teacher. He has a short temper and wants everything his way.
Written by: Laurie Halse Anderson
Laurie Halse Anderson
Laurie's book Forge won a National Book award.
Laurie is currently residing in Mexico, NY.
She is the New York Times Bestselling author.
Her books continue to receive national and state awards, and she continues to be recognized world wide.
Laurie continues to stay busy as a mother of 4, and managing her writing career. http://madwomanintheforest.com/laurie/
Most of the events in the book occur during the school year except for some of Melinda's memories and flashbacks. It is set during the late 1990s.
Melinda lives with her mom and dad who are not very interested in her. Her room still looks like a little girl's room since she hasn't redecorated it. She often hides in her closet.
The Party House/the Trees
Melinda refers to this spot multiple times in the book. The horrible moment that changed her life occurred here. The memory of this place is burned in Melinda's memory.
The book starts out with Melinda Sordino starting her freshman year of high school. No one is talking to her (including her friends) due to a traumatic event that occurred at the end of the summer. She struggles with school and fitting in. Melinda has kind of given up on life. The only subject she really likes is art which she uses to express her feelings with the help of her art teacher, Mr. Freeman. The only place she feels safe is the janitor's closet. Her parents don't really understand her and don't really connect to each other even. At the end, Melinda begins to heal and come back to her normal self.
Life is not perfect but it can still be good
Throughout the book, Melinda struggles with what has happened to her, and also deals with ordinary problems that every highschooler has, like conflicts with parents, and friends. By the end of the book she learns to accept life, even though it is a mixture of good and bad.
"I looks at my homely sketch...It isn't perfect and that makes it just right" (198).
Life goes on
By the end of book, Melinda starts to heal, and accept that what has happened to her, was not her fault. She begins to learn that life continues and gets better as time goes by. She doesn't try to deny it but learns from it.
"It wasn't my fault. And I'm not going to let it kill me. I can grow" (198).
If something doesn't kill you it can make you stronger
Even though Freshman year is incredibly hard for Melinda , she still manages to make it through. In the end her experiences make her stronger than ever before. In the future, she will be better equipped to deal with hard times.
"Roots knob out of the ground and the crown reaches for the sun, tall and healthy. The new growth is the best part" (196).
People are stronger than they think
Many times in the book, Melinda believes she will never make it through the year, let alone her life. However as the story progresses she realizes more and more her personal strength. She discovers that she really is much stronger than she thought she could be.
"Even if it does manage to sprout it can be choked by weeds, rooted up by a dog, mashed by a soccer ball, or asphyxiated by car exhaust. It's amazing anything survives" (126).
Standing up about things that matter
In the story Melinda is taught to stand up for things that are important by her friend David Petrakis. He speaks out against their teacher Mr.Neck when he starts a racist discussion. By the end of the book, she learns to do the same.
"David: 'If the class is debating, then each student has the right to say what's on his mind"(56).
"I used to be like Heather. Have I changed that much in two months? She is happy, driven, aerobically fit" (24.)
"We communicate with notes on the kitchen counter. I write when I need school supplies or a ride to the mall. They write what time they'll be home from work and if I should thaw anything. What else is there to say?" (14.)
"This is where you can find your soul, if you dare. Where you can touch the part of you that you've never dared look at before. Do not come here and ask me to show you how to draw a face. Ask me to help you find the wind" (10.)
"David stares as Mr. Neck, looks at the flag for a minute, then picks up his books and walks out of the room. He says a million things without saying a word. I make a note to study David Petrakis. I have never heard a more eloquent silence" (37.)
"I see IT in the hallway. IT goes to Merryweather. IT is walking with Aubrey Cheerleader. IT is in my nightmare and I can't wake up. IT sees me. IT smiles and winks. Good thing my lips are stitched together or I'd throw up" (46.)
"This is the girl who suffered through Brownies with me, who taught me how to swim, who understood about my parents, who didn't make fun of my bedroom. If there is anyone in the entire galaxy I am dying to tell what really happened, it's Rachel. My throat burns" (5.)
"Ivy opens her mouth to say something, then closes it again. Mr. Freeman studies my homely project. He doesn't say anything and I'm afraid he's pissed that I took out the palm tree. Ivy tries again. "It's scary," she says. In a weird way. Not clown scary, um, how do I say this? Like, you don't want to look at it too long. Good job, Mel" (64.)
"All her clothes wait patiently on hangers, organized by type- skirts together, pants hanging by their cuffs, her sweaters stacked in plastic bags on shelves. The room screams Heather" (33.)
"Mr. Neck storms into class, a bull chasing thirty-three red flags. We slide into our seats. I think for sure he's going to explode. Which he does, but in an unpredictable, faintly educational way" (53.)