Friday 56: "Speak" by Laurie Halse Anderson

Here's the gist:

* The Friday 56 is hosted by Storytime with Tonya and Friends.

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.

* Turn to page 56.

* Post any sentence from that page (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog. (If you do not have your own blog, post it in the comments section of this blog.) Be sure and let me know with a comment if you've put the Friday 56 on your blog, so I can stop by and comment!

* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Today’s Friday 56 comes from yet another young adult novel. I read “Speak”, by Laurie Halse Anderson back in the winter. It’s laying next to my chair because my oldest son just took it out of his backpack. He read it at the end of last school year for a book report. To say I was moved by this book would be an understatement. It’s the story of Melinda Sordino who starts her freshman of high school year a complete outcast, a result of a horrific event at the end of summer vacation. What struck me most was that no one noticed. This girl was withdrawn, sad, and clearly suffering, and no one noticed. Not her parents. Not her ex-friends. Not her teachers (with the exception of her art teacher... Yay for sensitive arts educators!). As a teacher myself, I try to look beyond what a student is showing me on the surface. We can never really know what a child is dealing with or suffering through. “Speak” made me resolve to be even more vigilant about “noticing”.

From page 56:

“David Petrakis is never, ever in trouble. He is the kids who wins perfect attendance records, who helps the staff chase down bugs in the computer files of report cards. I chew a hangnail on my pinkie. What is he thinking? Has he flipped, finally cracked under the pressure of being smarter than everyone?”


  1. This makes me wonder what David Petrakis did before this sentence...?

    What a wonderful book for you to read as you are in such an important position to 'notice' what kids might be in trouble. It's wonderful that you care and are moved - Your kids are lucky to have you as a teacher.

    Thanks for visiting my Friday 56 about The Fugitive

  2. That is a good pick.. I have the book on my shelf but havent have time to pick up and read. Thanks for highlighting this!

    here's mine


  3. Great pick! I thought this was a very memorable book too. My Friday 56 is from Komarr by Lois McMaster Bujold. Happy reading!

  4. I don't know if I could handle that book. I've heard that it is very well written.

    Thank you for being the person that notices the kids quietly fading away.

    Check out my Friday 56-- I cheated and included two book, both YA.

  5. This is a book I've been wanting to read...

    Thanks for sharing.

    Here's mine:


  6. A Gift to Last by Debbie Macomber

    We wouldn't have Christmas if it wasn't for my mother."