This book was nominated for a National Book Award in 1999 so you get a sense of how well written it is and how powerful it is. This is a keen look at life in a high school through the eyes of a girl who cannot speak up for herself. She has lost the ability to speak up because of a violent incident that occurred at a party last summer.

Melinda Sordino is now an outcast because she called the police. Her old friends have turned on her. Her parents don’t register her pain, but they do register her grades. Her new friend, Heather, just wants to belong and tries to join the Marthas. Against the forces of the Merryweather High social scene, Mel struggles to find her voice. She needs to believe in herself and to face the truth of what happened to her and what lurks in the world around her.

240 pages

978-0312674397 Ages 14 and up

Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com


Freshman year at Merryweather High is not going well for Melinda Sordino. She busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, and now her friends—and even strangers—all hate her. So she stops trying, stops talking. She retreats into her head, and all the lies and hypocrisies of high school become magnified, leaving her with no desire to talk to anyone anyway. But it’s not so comfortable in her head, either—there’s something banging around in there that she doesn’t want to think about. She can’t just go on like this forever. Eventually, she’s going to have to confront the thing she’s avoiding, the thing that happened at the party, the thing that nobody but her knows. She’s going to have to speak the truth.---from the publisher

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