William Oefelein


Extension Project


Introduction: The book Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson was about a young girl by the name of Melinda Sordino and her life in her first year of high school. Melinda had a horrific tragedy occur over the summer, which has led to losing all of her friends. The reader does not find out what the tragedy is until the 4th marking period (the end of the book). However, the author does a great job giving the reader clues as to what has happened.

Melinda becomes friends with a girl named Heather, who tries to make Melinda do numerous school activities. Heather eventually finds a group that she can fit in with and her friendship with Melinda existed no more. Melinda’s only sanctuary was her art class with Mr. Freeman and the two closets she can hide in. The one closet is an old janitor’s closet that she designs to be her own. The other closet is in her bedroom. In art class, Mr. Freeman assigned Melinda a project in which she pulled out “tree” as her object to draw. Mr. Freeman allowed Melinda to express herself and even encouraged her to do such.

Rachel, Melinda’s ex-best friend, begins to her some attention, even though it isn’t like they are friends again. Melinda finally feels comfortable to tell her about the rape, but Rachel (Rachelle) gets upset when Melinda tells her who the person is.

Andy Evans, Melinda’s rapist, attempts to rape Melinda again towards the end of the year. Fortunately for Melinda, Nicole (the athlete) and some other girls here her screaming and rescue her from Andy.

Melinda’s parents don’t know how to handle their daughter or what has happened to her. They recognize there is a change in her behavior, but really aren’t aggressive when it comes to finding out what has happened to her.  

Self Reflection

I felt that this project was a great way to build upon my reading of the book "Speak." When it comes to my project I feel that I was a practitioner for communicating meaning, appeal and attracting the audience and an expert for organization and attention to details.