Students to read Speak for 2019 summer reading

Laurie+Halse+Anderson%2C+author+of+the+summer+reading+book+Speak%2C+has+been+honored+for+helping+to+create+more+awareness+of+sexual+assault%2C+and+encouraging+survivors+to+seek+help.
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Students to read Speak for 2019 summer reading

Laurie Halse Anderson, author of the summer reading book Speak, has been honored for helping to create more awareness of sexual assault, and encouraging survivors to seek help.

Laurie Halse Anderson, author of the summer reading book Speak, has been honored for helping to create more awareness of sexual assault, and encouraging survivors to seek help.

RAINN.org

Laurie Halse Anderson, author of the summer reading book Speak, has been honored for helping to create more awareness of sexual assault, and encouraging survivors to seek help.

RAINN.org

RAINN.org

Laurie Halse Anderson, author of the summer reading book Speak, has been honored for helping to create more awareness of sexual assault, and encouraging survivors to seek help.

Roly Lo ’21, Staff Writer

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This summer, students will read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson for their Summer Reading assignments. When the next school year begins, assignments will be handed to mentor group teachers for grading and discussion. This structure may reflect future Summer Reading assignments.

Based on Anderson’s own experiences, Speak is from the point of view of high school freshman Melinda Sordino. She becomes shunned, outcasted, and depressed after the events of a summer party where she calls the police, not saying why, and no one asks. She can only find solace in her art class where she can freely express herself.

Prompted by incidents that happened on campus, Principal Tim Reardon developed a curriculum to help develop an understanding of the female perspective and respect for women. He has taught this book to his sophomore class.

“The book ts into the curriculum that we have been building in regards to the idea of what it means to be a man. Understanding the perspectives and feelings of girls and women is part being a man,” said Reardon.

Previous Summer Reading assignments were divided into upper and lower divisions of books, but this novel has been taught in all grade levels.

Student reactions have been mixed. Some students have a negative impression of Summer Reading and the changes. “I think Summer Reading is a waste of time for most people since they’ll just look up the information on the internet to be done with it,” said Anthony Rizo ’21.

Others are ne with everyone reading the same book. Jose Jimenez ’21, said, “It’s a good book. We read it with Mr. Reardon. I like how the book can relate to teens our age and come from the perspective of someone in high school just like us.”

The novel was one of the top 100 banned/challenged books according to The American Library Association website, and is holding at number 60, because of controversial topics.

“Some of the greatest novels ever written have content that makes readers uncomfortable. In fact, I will contend that all great books have uncomfortable content,” said Reardon.

Published in 1999, Speak celebrates its 20th anniversary, and remains relevant as movements take root and people speak out.