Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (2005)
Review by Catherine- Grade 11
Genre: Realistic Fiction
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Rating: 10 out of 10
In literature, heavy topics such as sexual assault and abuse can be very daunting to write in a way that is approachable from an author and reader perspective. In Laurie Halse Anderson’s telling of Speak, she shares her story with sexual assault during her high school years and her experiences surrounding the incident.
Using a first-person speaker representing Anderson, the narrator takes us through her experience with another high school student and the preceding events. From a struggling mental state to a deteriorating social presence, Anderson presents her character in a way that is relatable to others and allows readers to sympathize and empathize with this character.
This book is one of my favorite reads because it shows a great deal of respect to this topic and approaches it in a way that engages the reader in the story while also bringing awareness to an issue that has been neglected for so long. As someone who has never had to experience this behavior, reading this account gave me a very helpful perspective towards other survivors and I can now translate this new sense of respect and comfort with others.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is seeking comfort with this issue or just looking for an enlightening story.