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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: January 2007 ISBN: 9780739355961
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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 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 — 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. Download and start listening now!

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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.”

    AudioFile

  • “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.”

    Booklist

  • “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 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee for Best Young Adult Novel
  • A 1999 National Book Award Finalist
  • Winner of Printz Honors, 2000
  • 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 Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 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 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 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 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. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Clary | 1/21/2014

    " I think every teen girl should read this. Extraordinarry read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anna Koch | 1/16/2014

    " I thought this book was good, but it wasn't one of my favorites. It was about a girl named Melinda, who lost all her friends right before starting her freshman year of high school. It happened because of a party in the summer that she called the cops at. But she called it for a different reason then everybody thought. She got raped at the party and didn't tell anyone. She didn't have any friends the whole year until the very end, when she finally spoke up about it. I recommend this book to teenagers because it shows that if something bad is happening to you, you should tell someone right away and not wait. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah Dillon | 1/14/2014

    " I will let this book speak for itself (pun intended). An incredible story that gives its readers the courage to speak up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brendaliz | 1/13/2014

    " Amazing connection to the girls that have gone through this. All you want to do is read for hours to know what happens next. One of my favorite books. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Janice | 12/27/2013

    " I thought it was a little slow moving and anticlimactic but a fast read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kim Lay | 7/8/2013

    " I liked it because it was a fast read. I am able to speak about this to people. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lori Mitchell | 6/13/2013

    " This is difficult to read....I'm glad I stuck with it! I want all 3 of our kids to read this as soon as they hit High School. Watched the movie after I read the book, they did a good job of capturing the feeling of the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emma Refvem | 5/9/2013

    " Sad, but liberating. We got to watch Melinda come to terms with herself & learn to cut out the dead parts of her to let the new life grow. Well written & chock full of symbolism (as well as references to not caring about symbolism... nice touch, I guess) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Denny | 4/26/2013

    " A quick read, straightforward plot, interesting main character. Good teenage novel "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dejah | 4/20/2013

    " too much talk in the book the only reason why i think people should reasd it because of the acctualy story line "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel Orr | 4/13/2013

    " I read this at a pivotal time of teenagedom. A time where I did not read often. I read it in one night. It opened my eyes in so many ways and I am grateful for the words I read and what they taught me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jaime Crawford | 4/4/2013

    " Well written. I believe this is a book, though fictional, that can reach across lines to speak to anyone. I never encountered this circumstance (I'm trying to keep from spoiling the end), but I've known several healed from its grasp. How brave you were to also 'speak'. Great book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alexis Cameron | 4/2/2012

    " It was really good just not really the kind of book I would usually read. I like Melindas sarcasm throughout the book and how the characters portrayed "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melody | 3/28/2012

    " It was a really good book and the ending was not what I expected it to be "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stacy Derobertis-theye | 1/29/2012

    " Read this for my adolescent lit class. Pretty predictable, but it had a unique narrative style. I enjoyed reading it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sherri Parker | 8/14/2011

    " If you are a secondary english teacher, it is a definite for the classroom. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eliza | 5/23/2011

    " Fantastic. Simply amazing. There is a real voice of truth to this book and no matter your high school experience, at some point you can and do relate to Melinda. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ivan | 5/23/2011

    " Very depressing book that should never be spoken of again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 5/22/2011

    " Hmm... I actually didn't have to read this book for school... shocking. However, I could never really get into it. It was a good book, well written ect. ect. Perhaps if I were to read it again today I'd feel different, but it just wouldn't be a book I would rave over.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 leah | 5/22/2011

    " i loved this book and i believe it is time for a re-read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vinita | 5/22/2011

    " Very interesting reading...more so for parents of young girls. Met the author, heard her read from the book and why she wrote it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emma | 5/21/2011

    " I have read this twice and seen the movie many times. Such witty writing on such a fragile topic. It captures high school in a way no other book does. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maggiy | 5/20/2011

    " Not as good as all the hype would make it seem. However, it is interesting and keeps you in the zone. There is nothing bad about it, nothing to complain about. Pretty good, overall. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 5/19/2011

    " So sad. Extremely suspenseful. I was on the edge of my seat the whole thing waiting for THE INCIDENT to be revealed "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kay | 5/19/2011

    " Every teenage girl should read this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vicki | 5/18/2011

    " I rarely rate books with 5 stars. This one deserves every one. It's a short book with a lot to say about being a teenager in high school. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Zoe reads | 5/17/2011

    " This is one of those powerful books. Not everyone is going to get it, but if you do, it's a power house. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brittnee | 5/16/2011

    " A timeless novel about the awkwardness of adolescence and the things that really ARE life or death dramas when you're a teenager. A Breakfast Club for readers. Really enjoyed reading this despite it taking me straight back to my high school days which I'd rather forget. "

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About the Author
Author Laurie Halse Anderson

Laurie Halse Anderson, New York Times bestselling author, writes for kids of all ages. Known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity, her work has earned numerous American Library Association and state awards. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists. Chains also made the Carnegie Medal shortlist in the United Kingdom. She lives in northern New York, where she likes to watch the snow fall as she writes. She and her husband, Scot, plus their menagerie of critters, enjoy country living and time in the woods. When not writing or hanging out with her family, you can find her training for marathons or trying to coax tomatoes out of the rocky soil in her backyard.

About the Narrator

Mandy Siegfried has worked at theaters in New York, on and off Broadway, and around the country. Her film work includes School of Rock, Two Weeks Notice, Winter Passing, Liberty Maine, The Out-of-Towners, and St. Andrew’s Girls.