Friday, April 24, 2009

Laurie Halse Anderson biography

Laurie Halse Anderson was born on October 23, 1961 in northern New York; her characters seem to live generally near there. Laurie Halse Anderson's childhood seems to affect her writing greatly. Laurie Halse Anderson published her first book in 1996. She has written about seven novels and even more children’s books, and series books. In her books she gives an in depth analysis of characters and different social issues involving mostly young adults. Laurie's books inspire people too express themselves; her books portray realistic life events that people struggle with daily. Laurie is known as a great writer; in the United States her books are bestselling. She has received honors in the 2002 free library of Philedelphia/Drexel University of children’s literature citation, the 2004 Fayetteville- Hall of Distinction, and the 2006 Onondaga Community College Alumni faces award. She has obtained even more specific honors for her individual books like Twisted and Speak.

Figurative Language

In the book Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson used figurative language. Figurative language allows the reader to understand the author better by using; similes, metaphors, onomatopoeia, hyperbole, Personification, Alliteration, and Clich├ęs
  • "Mr. Freeman is ugly. Big old grasshopper body, like a stilt-walking circus guy. Nose like a credit card sunk between his eyes." (pg. 10, paragraph 2) simile

she compares Mr. Freeman to an old grasshopper, circus guy, and a credit card. It is a simile because she made a comparison to Mr. Freeman to put more characteristics about him.

  • "Principle Principle pauses with a look on his face like Daffy Duck's when Bugs is pulling a fast one."(page 17, paragraph 8) simile
she compares the principal to daffy duck to show how his face looks so the reader can understands better.

  • The air smells like french fries and floor cleaner. (page 99 paragraph 1) simile

she compares the smell of the air to french fries and floor cleaner because the reader most likely knows what they smell like so to put the reader more into the book she compares

something to what a regular person would know.

  • "My house is shrinking and I feel like Alice in Wonderland.' (pg. 144 paragraph 1) simile

she compares her house to be shrinking like in Alice in Wonderland because of all the pressure she has


In speak there is a lot of conflict going on between Melinda and other characters. Since Melinda was at a party one time during the summer and something bad happened to her, that made her call the police. Everyone started to hate her. Melinda lost all her friends from her old school and she had to start high school with no friends because of that accident. The biggest conflict in the book is between a Character Melinda calls "It". What happened at the party Melinda wants untold? That’s why she doesn't really make friends because of that situation also. Melinda has a lot of conflict throughout high school, but when she tells the big secret that happened at the party all the conflicts go away and they’re all solved.

work cited post

Anderson,Laurie Halse. Laurie Halse Anderson.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


There is a great amount of foreshadowing present in the book Speak. The biggest example of foreshadowing is in the beginning of the book when Melinda is assigned to make a piece of artwork of a tree. Under a tree is where her life-changing incident occurred. The time in the book when Melinda does not talk to anyone, the way it seems like she is unable to communicate with anyone represents the way she could not talk about her attack and express her.



Setting- The total environment for the action of a fictional work. Setting includes time period (such as the 1890's), the place (such as downtown Warsaw), the historical milieu (such as during the Crimean War), as well as the social, political, and perhaps even spiritual realities. The setting is usually established primarily through description, though narration is used also.

Speak takes place in Upstate, NY at Merryweather High at the beginning of the school year. The mood of the setting effects the character by everyone doesn't like her and she feels left out. She also lost all of her friends just because of what she did at that party. It effects the character because at the school everyone is picking on her because of what she did at that party, she has no friends, and she sits alone at lunch. Another reason that the school affects the character is that on her first day she was at lunch and somebody threw a potato at her and everyone started laughing at her. Then she found a closet and ate her lunch there because everyone hated her so much.


Symoblism- is when you represent things by symbols or a symbolic meaning or character.In Speak Laurie Halse Anderson uses symbolism in the book expression how Melinda is feeling at the moment of the book. There was one point in the book when Melinda was in art class and she was having trouble drawing her trees. So Mr. Freeman told her to just draw how she is feeling. When she started to draw her trees they were all bare and looked like they were dead. It symbolizes how she is feeling because she feels lonely and she doesn't think she fits in with anyone in school. Melinda is like the bare tree thats half dead and alive. In that class she usually draws the trees the way she feels.While she was in art her teacher Mr Freeman said that "This is where you can find your soul, if you dare." In Speak you see that Melinda expresses herself mostly in her art , she barely talks in any of her classes except for that class, where she starts to speak her mind threw her art. Symoblism is when you reprsent things by symbols or a symbolic meaning or character. Thats what Laurie Halse Anderson uses most in the book and it explain's melinda personality.