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Speak (Bite) [Paperback]

Laurie Halse Anderson
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
Price: 5.24 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

20 Mar 2008 Bite
From her first moment at Merryweather High, Melinda Sordino knows she's an outcast. She busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops - a major infraction in high-school society - so her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't know glare at her. No one knows why she called the police, and she can't get out the words to explain. So she retreats into her head, where the lies and hypocrisies of high school stand in stark relief to her own silence. But it's not so comfortable in her head, either - there's something banging around in there that she doesn't want to think about. But, try as she might, it just won't go away...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Children's Books (20 Mar 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340950773
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340950777
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Laurie Halse Anderson is the New York Times-bestselling author who writes for kids of all ages. Known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity, her work has earned numerous American Library Association and state awards. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists. Chains also earned a spot on the Carnegie Medal Short List.

Laurie received the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award given by the Young Adult Library Services Association division of the American Library Association for her "significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature."

Mother of four and wife of one, Laurie lives in Northern New York State, an hour south of the Canadian border, where she likes to watch the snow fall as she writes. Right now she's finishing up her next YA novel and researching Ashes, which will conclude the adventure of Isabel and Curzon that readers enjoyed in her historical novels Chains and Forge.

You'll find loads more information about Laurie and her books on her website: http://madwomanintheforest.com/. You can follow her adventures on Twitter, http://twitter.com/halseanderson, on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/lauriehalseanderson, and on her blog, http://madwomanintheforest.com/blog/.

Product Description


A stunning first novel... Anderson infuses the narrative with a wit that sustains the heroine through her pain and holds readers' empathy. The book's overall gritty realism and Melinda's hard-won metamorphosis will leave readers touched and inspired. (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY)

Nails the high school experience cold. An uncannily funny book even as it plumbs the darkness, Speak will hold readers from first word to last. (THE HORN BOOK)

The plot is gripping and the characters are powerfully drawn, but it is its raw and unvarnished look at the dynamics of the high school experience that makes this a novel that will be hard for readers to forget. (KIRKUS REVIEWS)

Strong and searching novels that cover very difficult scenarios...The humanity of the protagonist really shines through in the expert characterisation and writing, making these novels really challenge the reader's empathy. I would strongly recommend these stark and thought provoking titles. (The Bookseller, 13th April 2001)

Anderson has produced an outstanding book which invites the reader's admiration and empathy ... The power of Speak to evoke a positive response in spite of harrowing realism lies in Anderson's poetic prose and witty first person narration. (BfK, July 2001)

Highly recommended. (THE SCOTSMAN)

Book Description

A powerful novel with a believable, bitterly ironic teenage heroine, following her through her first year at high school, from outcast to acceptance.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
It is my first morning of high school. Read the first page
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever, witty, and touching 7 April 2003
I highly recommend this novel. After glancing at its first few pages, I found myself competing with my youngest sister of reading it who was in Lower School. As a teenager, portraying a teen's mind is a difficult feat. It has never been told in a form that closely relates to today's teenagers like this one. Anderson has revealed it all through Melinda, a quiet and witty character who has become more of a herione in her own story. An outcast, 'artistic' and terribly rejected freshmen girl attending a highschool of students that detest the sight of her is a bitter, yet perfect, setting for this one girl's true-to-life story. Her untalkative, solitary, yet charming character will glue the readers' eyes to every page. What makes this novel unique is that it stabs the reader in the heart: you become Melinda and react similarly to situations inside the novel while you read her world. It allows readers to experience what it feels like to be that person, a person who's ruined reputation was made by her one (desperate) phone call. You will feel pity for Melinda, learn and grow to actually cheer on her personal or social successes, and smile contently whenever she cleverly uses imagery when comparing something to another ie. a greek-god teenager, her volcanic-expolding parents at the dinner table. I tell you, this novel is the bomb of all (short) teenager novels. It will make you inseparable from reading it. A clever piece of work that must be owned by any teenager or adult. It's that good.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Teenage hell at High School 27 Sep 2001
By A Customer
Melinda hates high school already. Her old friends won't speak to her because she ruined a dumb high school party by calling the cops. But only Melinda knows why. And meanwhile, she's not saying. And her life is cruddy. Her parents. Well. Who in their right mind would speak to them? And her new so called friend is just with her until she finds someone cool to hang out with. Melinda knows she [feels like rubbish]. But can she pull herself out of it and speak out about the truth? This book shows you just how vile school can be. And even though it's set in the states, the issues of friendship and sex it tackles are really well written. It's funny, it's brave. It's one for the girls, but it's not a girly book. It's honest. As a school librarian, i've passed this to a couple of keen reading girls, and they both read it it one night, coming back to say how they loved it. Excellent, and recommended for any school library.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books ever! 20 Jun 2001
By A Customer
I started reading this book on the way to work and I got so into it, I just wanted to "disappear" and continue reading all day. It is one of the best books I've read this year, and one of the best so far in my life I think. I am truly impressed by the way Laurie Halse Andersen mixes irony, humour, insights and the deepest pain. Anybody who's gone through school will recognise _something_ in it, even though you may not have been in Melinda's shoes, and anybody's who's still in school will find comfort in it. It's one of those books you like so much that you don't how to describe it because whatever you say, you feel it's not enough. It was a couple of weeks since I finished it, but it's still on my mind. And I've convinced a couple of my friends to read it as well, and they loved it too!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely amazing 25 Sep 2001
By A Customer
This book is one of the best books I've ever read. It is incredibly powerful, and, even though I have not been in the situations Melissa has, I really felt the pain she was going through. I also love the sharp way in which it is written.
A top read
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing book 9 April 2005
By A Customer
I think this is the best book you'll ever read. It's about Melinda Sordino, a girl who's just started high school. Her old friends can't stand her because she called the police at an end-of-summer party, but they haven't even tried to find out why. Her parents are barely involved in her life and Melinda just doesn't speak to anyone. Her only friend is a new girl who is using her until she can join another group, and the only class she does well in is Art, where her teacher encourages her to speak up. This book is impossible to put down. Even though it can be depressing, her descriptions of idiot teachers and high school cliques will really make you laugh, and it keeps you gripped until the very last page.
Reviewed by britishfairyprincess
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Had potential to have been better.... 5 Feb 2013
I had high expectations for this book and was disappointed by the end. The author admitted to hating high school and that shows but i didn't think the book was JUST about her hating school. i thought it was about (without spoiling it for others) her dealing with something that had happened to her and the fallout of that but by the end off the book it just ended. there was no positive message to kids, no sense of victory for her, nothing that kids could take away and learn from or a resolution and i wanted to know what happened to the baddie (i don't want to spoil the book so am writing loosely about events) i wanted to know what her parents,teacher and everyone else thought or acted. plus the author never really scratched the surface of what anyone else was like.overall, a disappointing book that i wouldn't recommend. also at the end of the copy of the book i was reading had a note from the author and she skips over the events as if it isn't awful and focuses on how awful school is. it had the potential to be a great book - too bad.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
The story resonates with truth from start to finish and deserves every plaudit it has received. Anderson knows her subject and conveys it with timeless elegance. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Peanut Butter
4.0 out of 5 stars Great
I thought the book was very well written, I was really able to connect with the characters and the story line was based on an important issue that all young people should be... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Sophie
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
I loved reading it. It was nice and precise, not my style but the summary was interesting and so was the book
Published 8 months ago by eachy
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT.
Published 11 months ago by Tanatswa
3.0 out of 5 stars A realistic look at high school in the 90s
Laurie Halse Anderson is an author that I hadn't really heard of until I started book blogging, but once I started noticing her name on lists of teen favourites and favourite issue... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Kat
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! Not an easy subject to read
I found this book incredibly intense and moving. It's not an easy read. I knew something bad had happened to Melinda, but wasn't sure what until around the middle, when I began to... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Chrissi Read
5.0 out of 5 stars Bitter sweet coming of age story
After something happens to Melinda her life is never the same. She has to struggle with a difficult secret without any friends and is ever more alienated from her family and those... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Ms. Nora G. Mairs
4.0 out of 5 stars Speak
Melinda is a teenager who goes through a very traumatic experience just before staring high school, and due to this experience she is made out-cast by everyone at school, including... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
Good insight into such a different life, very easy read!
Text in book is printed well and lightweight book to just slip into bag while out and about
Published 14 months ago by Lindsey
3.0 out of 5 stars Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
May try to read again and find more in the story line. It does tackle big issues of the day with teenagers and schooling.
Published 15 months ago by Gill
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