Speak

The Factors That Helped Melinda Recover 9th Grade

Melinda Sordino is broken. She drifts through her freshman year of high school, failing her classes and being ridiculed by her peers. She might have stayed broken, too, had it not been for key aspects of her life that inspired her to change. This takes place within the book Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. At the end of her eighth-grade year, Melinda and her friends go to a high school party. Once there, Melinda gets drunk and is taken advantage of by a senior, Andy Evans. The story focuses on Melinda’s journey towards recovery and how she conquers her fear of speaking. Over the course of the book, three things in Melinda’s life put her on the road to recovery. One of these things is art class and the teacher in charge of it. Another is Melinda’s lab partner, David Petrakis. Finally, there is an abandoned janitor’s closet that Melinda discovers and puts to good use. These things all are crucially important to Melinda as she fights her way through her freshman year.

On the first day of school, Melinda wanders into her art class where she is greeted by the art teacher, Mr. Freeman. Mr. Freeman soon establishes himself as the only adult Melinda trusts: he teaches Melinda how to speak through art, how to express herself in a way...

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