Tag Archives: Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak

By Laurie Halse Anderson
Classification: YA Literature
Genre: Issues Fiction
Age Level: 14+
Subjects: High school, relationships, trauma, sexual assault

Reader’s Annotation: While her inner voice is clever, strong, and insightful, Melinda Sordino has no intention of speaking her thoughts aloud, even though her story needs to be told.

Summary:  Melinda Sordino realizes what happened to her at a party over the summer, but she has told no one.  Now, she is ostracized at school, she has grown apart from her best friend, and she knows she probably will not want to talk even if she had someone to listen to her.  The tremendous weight on 14-year-old Melinda’s shoulders seems to have claimed her voice.  As she drifts through her freshman year of high school saying as little as possible, it is clear that Melinda needs to find her voice before she drowns in her own silence.

Notes:  A spot-on assessment of high school cliques, this is a gripping story how a young girl copes with assault.  The novel is an ALA Printz Honor Book (2000), a 1999 National Book Award Finalist, and a Edgar Allan Poe Award Finalist.
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Twisted

By Laurie Halse Anderson
Classification: YA Literature
Genre: Issues, realistic fiction
Age Level: 15+
Subjects: High school, family, bullying

Reader’s Annotation:  After years of being bullied, Tyler considers using violence to make himself heard.

Summary:  For years, Tyler has been relentlessly terrorized by Chip Milbury, the son of his father’s boss and the twin brother of his secret crush.  When Tyler gets caught vandalizing his high school, he is sentenced to community service which he fulfills by working for the summer with the school janitorial staff.  Rage has been slowly building within Tyler as a result of Chip’s bullying and his father’s constant pressure.  When Tyler is accused of circulating lewd pictures of his crush, he is tormented at school and threatened with military school by his father.  How will Tyler cope?  The reader goes inside the mind of a young man cornered as he contemplates a pistol and all his options.  Is violence Tyler’s only way out?  Who will be the victims?

Notes: Tyler is an outstanding male protagonist from the author of Speak, offering a fresh, relevant perspective in a post-Columbine world.
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