Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

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I have this plan to read all the books that have won Printz awards or honors between now and January so that when the awards are announced in January, I'll only have to read 5 books to be "caught up" (or really only 4 because I'm absolutely, positively sure that The Book Thief will be one of them)

Laurie Halse Anderson won a Printz honor for Speak in 2000 (the first year the Printz was awarded). Speak is the story of Melinda Sordino, a high school freshman, dealing with a traumatic event that happened to her the summer before (I won't tell you what the traumatic experience is because I think not knowing makes the book just a little bit better -- and if you really want to know -- there's always Google).

Anderson adds just enough humor to keep the novel from being too dark and depressing, (I loved the way the school mascot kept changing), and she creates a very real character in Melinda.

My only slight complaint about the book isn't even about the book itself. I listened to it on cassette, and while the reader was very good, it was confusing at times hearing the voice of a character who more or less, doesn't speak. I think that distinction is probably a lot more clear, and more powerful, on paper.


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