Laurie Halse Anderson's debut young adult novel Speak, published in 1999, follows 13-year-old Melinda Sordino through her first year of high school after a traumatic incident renders her speechless and hated by most of her classmates. Unable to share her internal struggle aloud, Melinda begins to isolate herself from others until a teacher shows Melinda how to express her feelings through art. Although several schools banned the novel due to its controversial subject matter, Speak earned several prestigious awards and became a New York Times best seller.


See a complete list of the characters in Speak and in-depth analyses of Melinda Sordino, Mr. Freeman, Andy Evans, and more.

Literary Devices

Here's where you'll find analysis of the literary devices in Speak, from the major themes to motifs, symbols, and more.


Find the quotes you need to support your essay, or refresh your memory of Speak by reading these key quotes.


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