In the book Speak, what causes Melinda to finally speak?

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Speak, a young adult novel, was written by Laurie Halse Anderson and published in 1999. It tells the story of Melinda Sordino, a fourteen-year-old high school student who is struggling with life and school after she was raped by Andy Evans, an upper freshman. Melinda hasn’t told anyone about the rape, and this inability to talk about it manifests itself further with her only speaking when absolutely necessary. Once bright and happy, she is now depressed, withdrawn, and no longer takes care of herself. Her teachers and parents are frustrated with her, and she is bullied and isolated by her peers and former friends.

The story takes place over the course of a school year. Despite her lack of enthusiasm for sports and her classes, Melinda finds comfort in her art classes. Through the encouragement of her art teacher Mr. Freeman, Melinda starts to find her confidence and her voice again. And when Andy Evans attempts to rape her for the second time, she realizes she must speak out to stop him...

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