What would you say would be the draw or reasons a teenage boy or girl would be compelled to read this story?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One reason that a teen might be engaged in reading Speakis because it exposes the reality of what high school is for many. Contrary to the stereotypical notion of high school being fun and exciting, for many students, high school is something out of Dante. Melinda explores the cruelty that exists for many in high school. Essentially, the draw for reading this book is that it is from the point of view of the ultimate outsider.  How Melinda is able to articulate the condition of marginalized reality in high school is appealing to many teens, who themselves might be on the outside looking in.

Another reason why Speakwould prove to be compelling for teens is that it shows how one can effectively deal with self- harm and hurt. For many teens, the condition of self- harm is a real one, and a condition that envelops them.  Melinda's narrative shows how self- harm must give way to a form of individual empowerment.  Even as much as Melinda might hate herself and might hate the world around, she recognizes that she must empower herself and form solidarity with all around her.  This can be a narrative that could be quite inspiring to teens who are also struggling with issues of self- hurt and self- harm.

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