It's no surprise when a Laurie Halse Anderson title impresses, but this story grabs you by the shoulders and shakes you. That's about what some of the adults wanted to do to Melinda when she started freshman year and quit speaking. The truth her silence screams is revealed in gestures, habits, hints, and whispers. As the year passes the reader discovers some of her truths as she discovers some of her strengths. Mr. Freeman, the quirky art teacher, is the kind of hero I like- weird, flawed, and thoroughly trustworthy, which is exactly what she needed.