Libby Ames's Reviews > Speak

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
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's review
Jun 30, 11

bookshelves: contemporary, young-adult-fiction
Read in June, 2011

A powerful, yet painful book about the effects of date rape on a young girl. My first instinct is to protect young readers and recommend this to an older teenage audience. However, there is nothing graphic included and the younger teens need to learn of the danger of such situations and the danger of hiding them. This book is a good education, but it would require discussion. Much of the main character's view of high school is jaded by her experience and the resulting depression. If I had read this as a middle schooler, I would have been terrified at the prospect of high school. It is well written, with an excellent voice, but should be discussed with a younger and possibly less discerning reader.

Coincidentally, I finished this book right after a discussion with my eight-year-old about why we rarely (if ever) allow her to attend slumber parties. I wanted to keep her innocent view of the world, but also let her know that not everyone is kind and good. As painful as the end of innocence is, education is much better than actually having a bad experience. When she hits the tween years, I think I would have her read this book. I don't think she will like it, but she will need it--and I can discuss it with her. I don't want her to learn from friends or hard experience.
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