I decided to do the mind mapping reading response for Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. I chose to map the thoughts of the main character, narrator, and protagonist, Melinda Sordino. I chose to draw lips because Melinda struggles through-out the book to make her lips move so that she can speak up. Melinda’s anxiety causes her to pick at and chew on her lips until they bled.I chose the word “speak” in association with the lips because, not only is it the title of the book, but Melinda cannot speak up to anyone about her worries or about being raped.
Secondly, in the dark parts of her brain, Melinda is always thinking back to when she was raped. I chose a “no” sign and the word “rape” because a major theme of this book is rape. Melinda Sordino is raped at the age of 13 by a popular senior, then she is outcasted by her friends for calling the cops on the party after being raped. Melinda struggles with whether she was actually raped or not because she could not actually bring herself to say the word no. However, through the book, Melinda comes to grips with the fact that, since Andy covered her mouth and held her down, she was indeed raped.
Finally, I chose the word tree and an image of a tree because Melinda’s favorite teacher, her art teacher, assigns a year-long project where Melinda has to make an artist project of a tree mean something. Melinda struggles with the project through-out the book until she visits the tree where she was raped. Once Melinda visits the tree where she was raped, she realized that trees, like people, are not perfect. At the end of the book she finally aces the project by creating an imperfect tree that shows that it has been through life. In doing this, Melinda also comes to grips with her own imperfects and can begin her own life.
This is simply an amazing book. I plan to reread it every year, and recommend it to anyone who needs a good book. It is inspirational and real.