Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Melinda enters her freshman year of high school in infamy, and not the good kind. She called the cops from an end-of-summer party where a bunch of her classmates were attending. The cops busted the party for the underage drinking that was going on and EVERYONE hates her. Especially her best friend. No one will talk to her. People are outright hostile to her. Instead of the bright future she had been envisioning, Melinda has become bitter and isolated. She gets to the point that she rarely even says a word. No one cares, so no one listens to the reason behind her phone call. No one understands the pain she’s going through. No one knows why she really called the cops that fateful night. No one realizes that her ordeal isn’t over, and every day she has to face the problem, utterly alone.
Speak is a novel of incredible pain and great acts of courage. Melinda bears the scorn of others around her, and yet still manages to fight for herself. This is a great novel within which to talk about the nature of justice, the importance of prudence, and what virtues it takes to be a person of compassion, even when it costs you.
Laurie Halse Anderson has written many books that deal with issues teenagers face, and this is one of the finest she has written. In a country where 1 in 6 women have been the victim of a rape or an attempted rape the chances are that this book will touch most everyone in one way or another.