Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Melinda begins her freshman year an outcast after calling the police at a party over the summer. Despite losing her friends, a strained relationship with her parents, and her grades falling drastically, she can’t speak about what really happened that night. Being quite, however, gives Melinda a chance to notice things she might otherwise have missed, like a classmate who can and does stand up for his right to have his voice heard and a teacher who struggles to express his frustration through his artwork. Her admiration for these people help Melinda begin to find herself again.
Even though this is a serious book dealing with some pretty heavy themes, Melinda’s voice is fresh and funny, even if it’s only in her own head. Anyone who’s ever felt the weight of a secret that needs to be set free will connect with this book instantly. Some mature situations in the book make it better suited to ages 12 and up.