Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Anderson, Laurie Halse (Speak)

On my continuing foray into the realm of YA, I was given this book to read. In fact, although the recommendation goes against everything in me as a librarian and pro-book advocate, this is the kind of book that should be passed around. From friend to friend, from mother to daughter and especially from father to son. This novel is an absolute must for every teen to read.

It's possible not everyone will see what's coming, so I don't want to give away anything. It's just as powerful knowing as not knowing. In fact, it's one of the very few books that I read portions of aloud to my husband, mostly because they were amusing but also because they evoke without bitterness the atmosphere of high school.

Don't get me wrong-- this is a tragic tale. But, Anderson has found a way to deftly merge a story that should cause every heart to weep with a general reminiscence of teenage years alternately funny and horrifying. It's simply illuminating, there's no better word for it.

So I think it's best not to reveal any plot at all. Believe the cover, as schmaltzy as it sounds. This actually is a contemporary classic.

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