by Laurie Halse Anderson
Editor: Palgrave USA
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The first ten lies they tell you in high school”Speaking for yourself-we want to know what you have to say”From the first moment of her first year at Merryweather Haut, Melinda knows it’s a big lie, part of the absurdity of high school.She’s friendless, pariah, because she burst out at the end of the summer gone calling the cops, so now nobody’s gonna talk to her, let alone listen to her.As time passes, she becomes more and more isolated and practically stops talking completelyOnly her class art offers all the consolation, and it is thanks to her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened during that terrible game: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still looks after Merryweather and is still a threat to her.Her healing process began when she had another violent encounter with himBut this time, Melinda defends herself, refuses to keep quiet, and thus realizes a measure of vengeanceIn Laurie Halse Anderson’s powerful novel, totally credible heroine with a bitterly ironic voice offers a blow to the hypocritical high school worldShe speaks for many private teenagers, while demonstrating the importance of speaking for yourselfThe Word was a 1999 National Book Award Finalist for Children’s Literature
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