I read Speak during banned books week. Overall, Speak is listed as #60 on the Top 100 Banned/Challenged books of the last decade. Speak is the story of high school freshman Melinda, a girl who has been through a traumatic event and is unable to speak to anyone about it. Due to a misunderstanding, her friends have abandoned her and this sends her further into isolation. Melinda’s grades are suffering, she is unable to talk in class, to her teachers, or even to her parents. She communicates with her parents through notes left on the table. Melinda spends lunch time in an unused janitor’s closet that she decorates for her use. She is showing all the physical and mental signs of depression and is just trying to get through the day at school.Melinda’s experience at high school felt very authentic. Even if you have not experienced the trauma she has you may be able to relate to the isolation she feels in high school. The fake friends, cliques and bullying presented all took me back to high school.There are some glimmers of hope for Melinda as she starts to have some breakthroughs through her art assignments. She also meets a kind classmate and a caring teacher who encourage her to share her voice.Speak is a beautifully written, powerful and emotional book. It is painful to read at times, but an important resource for teens. I will recommend this book to my daughter when the time comes-I think this book would be a comfort to any teen struggling in high school. Looking forward to watching the movie version to see how it compares.