Nikki 's Reviews > Speak

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
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Sep 21, 2010

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bookshelves: children-s-and-ya

Fourth book for the readathon.

I've been meaning to read Speak for a while. I heard about it when it was banned by some school or other, and the main issue involved -- rape, although there are others -- is something that interests me, in fiction. I wanted to know how it was handled in a YA novel.

Turns out, reasonably well. I'm not sure if cynical is the right word for it, but the voice of the narrator didn't quite work for me, anyway. She seemed a bit too cool and analytical about it all, though I'm sure there are teens like that. Possibly even my sister. Anyway, I thought it was mostly well-handled. I don't remember teachers or school being quite like that -- it's a technicolour, extra-dramatic version -- but I identified with a lot of it. I identified with not being able to speak out, too.

So, should it be banned in schools? No. There are kids out there who need it. Sure, it's not a pretty story, but it's not an endless pit of despair, either. I'm sure it's helping people find their voices.
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