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Extended Audio Sample Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (147,236 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Laurie Halse Anderson Narrator: Mandy Siegfried Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From her first moment at Merryweather High, Melinda Sordino knows she’s an outcast. She busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops—a major infraction in high-school society—so her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know glare at her. She retreats into her head, where the lies and hypocrisies of high school stand in stark relief to her own silence, making her all the more mute. But it’s not so comfortable in her head, either, for there’s something banging around in there that she doesn’t want to think about. Try as she might to avoid it, it won’t go away, until there is a painful confrontation. Once that happens, she can’t be silent—she must speak the truth.

In this powerful audiobook, an utterly believable, bitterly ironic heroine speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while learning that, although it’s hard to speak up for yourself, keeping your mouth shut is worse.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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.”

    Horn Book (starred review)

  • “Anderson’s words often seem gleaned directly from a confused teenager’s soul.”


  • “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

  • “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.”


  • “A story told with acute insight, acid wit, and affecting prose.”

    Library Journal

  • “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

  • A 2000 Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book
  • A 1999 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist for Young Adult Fiction
  • A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
  • A Booklist Top 10 First Novel
  • A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
  • A 2000 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee for Best Young Adult Novel
  • A 1999 National Book Award Finalist
  • Winner of Printz Honors, 2000

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Katie Quinlan | 2/17/2014

    " I saw the movie. And I think the movie was better but that is probably because I saw the movie first the book was amazing! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Leah Wescott | 2/14/2014

    " I think Laurie Halse Anderson went to my high school and spied on all of us. It's unnerving how perfectly she captured the pain and confusion of finding yourself in a sea of high school. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Davinia | 2/4/2014

    " One of my favourite YA books. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Emily Ransom | 1/23/2014

    " Boring in the beginning up until the end, unrealistic view of high school, and over dramatic story of rape. I did not like this book much at all. I only kept reading to see what happened at the end. I like books I can relate to. This one did nothing for me. "

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