EXPLORING THE NOVEL speak by Laurie Halse Anderson So who gave us this story? Laurie Halse (rhymes with “waltz”) Anderson SOME FACTS ABOUT HER: •Favorite book: dictionary (she is a terrible speller) •attended Onondaga Community •Jobs before writing: cleaning College in Syracuse, New York, banks, milking cows, working then transferred to Georgetown as a stockbroker, and working University where she earned a as a reporter for the bachelors degree in languages Philadelphia Inquirer and linguistics •First book: Fever 1793 (1993), a historical novel •Other books: Inspiration for Speak: a nightmare several picture Anderson had one night; awoke to books, and Speak the sound of a girl crying, then (which was a •Lives: just outside realized it was her dream rather National Book of Philadelphia, PA than one of her children; she then Award Finalist, an with her husband got up and went to the computer ALA Michael L. and two daughters to write, and Melinda’s (main Printz Honor book, character) story began to flow; at and an ALA “Best that time, she had been reading Book for Young Reviving Ophelia (a psychological s p e a k… “…(is) the tough, tender, and darkly funny story of a teenage outcast.” But wait, before we read… Look at the front cover. • What do you notice about the girl in the picture? • What else do you see on the front cover? Open up the novel. • How is this book like other books? • Is there a table of contents? • How is the book organized? • Consider why Anderson may have done this… T It is always important H to figure out who is E telling the story you are reading. S T “”It is my first morning of O high school. I have seven R new notebooks, a skirt I Y hate, and a stomachache.” T (p. 3, first line of Speak) E L From what point of L E view will this story R be told? Consider this… outcast n : a person who is rejected (from society or home) [syn: castaway, pariah] And remember that s p e a k… “…(is) the tough, tender, and darkly funny story of a teenage outcast.” Who of us hasn’t felt rejected’, like an outcast, at some point in his/her life? Now it’s your turn… 1. Find a song, poem, movie or picture (photo, painting, ad, etc.) that in some way illustrates or represents the feeling of being ‘rejected’, left out, or an outcast. 2. Share your piece with the class, and prove how it illustrates the feelings of ‘rejection’. IN YOUR PRESENTATION YOU MUST BE ABLE TO: 1. Describe the form of media you have chosen to represent ‘rejection’ (poem, lyric, painting, movie, video, etc.) 2. Share specific information and details about the form (author, artist, title, year, interesting facts…). 3. Give sufficient proof or examples that the form illustrates the feelings of ‘rejection’ or of being an outcast. FOR EXAMPLE… 1. Describe the form of media you have chosen to represent ‘rejection’ (poem, lyric, painting, movie, video, etc.) “I have chosen a painting by an American artist to illustrate the idea of feeling like an outcast.” 2. Share specific information and details about the form (author, artist, title, year, interesting facts…). “This painting is called Christina’s World, and was done by Andrew Wyeth. It was painted in 1948, and portrays a neighbour named Christina Olsen, who was paralysed since birth. It shows her looking on towards her farmhouse in Maine.” a) “I chose this particular painting because think that it really shows the feeling of loneliness and of feeling like an outcast. b) For example, the girl is the only person in the painting, she is all alone. c) The artist has left a great deal of open 3. Give space between the girl and the farmhouse, sufficient and this gives the viewer the impression that she is far away from others. proof or examples d) Lastly, because she is paralysed, we know that she is probably that the form considered different and is illustrates the therefore on the outside. feelings of e) When I look at this painting, I ‘rejection’ or sense a feeling of loneliness and sadness at being left behind. It of being an appears that the girl wants to be outcast. included, judging by her longing gaze at the house.” As you are searching for your example to share with the class… CONSIDER… All the different ways that LONLINESS, and REJECTION can be communicated to others.
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