60 Speak Quotes With Page Numbers Laurie Halse Anderson

Use these Speak Quotes With Page Numbers to help reference your favorite quotes.

Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, is about a ninth-grader named Melinda Sordino who is raped at a party during the summer. Melinda calls 911 but cannot speak about what happened when the police arrive.

Because some students get arrested at the party, she loses her friends. Melinda finds sanctuary in an abandoned janitor’s closet.

She befriends a new girl named Heather until Heather becomes more interested in her popularity. Her art teacher Mr. Freeman sees that she’s depressed and tries to help her.

When her former best friend Rachel starts dating Andy, the senior who raped her, she warns her about him. Rachel is upset with her at first but eventually confronts Andy.

Andy traps Melinda in the janitor’s closet and tries to rape her again, but the lacrosse team rescues her. Melinda gains the support of her friends again.

Melinda is finally ready to speak about what happened that night at the party with Mr. Freeman.

Speak Characters List and Analysis

A picture of a tree without leaves against a white sky, with the headline:"Speak Quotes With Page Numbers"

Speak Quotes With Page Numbers First Marking Period

“It is my first morning of high school. I have seven new notebooks, a skirt I hate, and a stomachache.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 3


“I am not going to think about it. It was ugly, but it’s over, and I’m not going to think about it.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 5


“My English teacher has no face. She has uncombed stringy hair that droops on her shoulders. The hair is black from her part to her ears and then neon orange to the frizzy ends. I can’t decide if she had pissed off her hairdresser or is morphing into a monarch butterfly. I call her Hairwoman.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 6



1. We are here to help you.
2. You will have time to get to your class before the bell rings.
3. The dress code will be enforced.
4. No smoking is allowed on school grounds.
5. Our football team will win the championship this year.
6. We expect more of you here.
7. Guidance counselors are always available to listen.
8. Your schedule was created with you in mind.
9. Your locker combination is private.
10. These will be the years you look back on fondly.


1. You will use algebra in your adult lives.
2. Driving to school is a privilege that can be taken away.
3. Students must stay on campus during lunch.
4. The new text books will arrive any day now.
5. Colleges care more about you than your SAT scores.
6. We are enforcing the dress code.
7. We will figure out how to turn off the heat soon.
8. Our bus drivers are highly trained professionals.
9. There is nothing wrong with summer school.
10. We want to hear what you have to say.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Pages 5, 6


“My first class is biology. I can’t find it and get my first demerit for wandering the hall. It is 8:50 in the morning. Only 699 days and 7 class periods until graduation.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 6


“It is easier not to say anything. Shut your trap, button your lip, can it. All that crap you hear on TV about communication and expressing feelings is a lie. Nobody really wants to hear what you have to say.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 9


“All that crap you hear on TV about communication and expressing feelings is a lie. Nobody really wants to hear what you have to say.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 9


“This is where you can find your soul if you dare. Where you can touch that part of you that you’ve never dared look at before. Do not come here and ask me to show you how to draw a face. Ask me to help you find the wind.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 10


“Why not spend that time on art: painting, sculpting, charcoal, pastel, oils? Are words or numbers more important than images? Who decides this? Does algebra move you to tears? Can plural possessives express the feelings in your heart? If you don’t learn art now, you will never learn to breathe!”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 11


“Mr. Freeman sighs. “No imagination. What are you thirteen? Fourteen? You’ve already let them beat your creativity out of you!”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 11


“I make it through the first two weeks of school without a nuclear meltdown. ”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 14


“Homework is not an option. My bed is sending out serious nap rays. I can’t help myself. The fluffy pillows and warm comforter are more powerful than I am. I have no choice but to snuggle under the covers.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 16


“Principal Principal: Where’s your late pass, mister?
Errant Student: I’m on my way to get one now.
PP: But you can’t be in the hall without a pass.
ES: I know, I’m so upset. That’s why I need to hurry, so I can get a pass.
Principal Principal pauses with a look on his face like Daffy Duck’s when Bugs is pulling a fast one.
PP: Well, hurry up, then, and get that pass.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 17


“Gym should be illegal. It’s humiliating.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 18


“I need a new friend. I need a friend, period. Not a true friend, nothing close or share clothes or sleepover giggle giggle yak yak. Just a pseudo-friend, disposable friend. Friend as accessory. Just so I don’t feel or look so stupid.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 22


“The same boys who got detention in elementary school for beating the crap out of people are now rewarded for it. They call it football.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 28


“My parents didn’t raise me to be religious. The closest we come to worship is the Trinity of Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. I think the Merryweather cheerleaders confuse me because I missed out on Sunday School. It has to be a miracle. There is no other explanation. How else could they sleep with the football team on Saturday night and be reincarnated as virginal goddesses on Monday?”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page P 29


“If I ever form my own clan, we’ll be the anti-cheerleaders and walk under the bleacher forming mild acts of mayhem.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 30


“I am getting better at smiling when people expect it.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 32


“I pull my lower lip all the way in between my teeth. If I try hard enough, maybe I can gobble my whole self this way…. I didn’t try hard enough to swallow myself.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 39


“To keep up appearances, I stomp my room and slam the door.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 39


“I just thought of a great theory that explains everything. When I went to that party, I was abducted by aliens. They have created a fake Earth and fake high school to study me and my reactions. This certainly explains cafeteria food.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 42


“I see FT in the hallway. FT goes to Merryweather. IT is walking with Aubrey cheerleader. IT is my nightmare and I can’t wake up. IT sees me. IT smiles and winks. Good thing my lips are stitched together or I’d throw up.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Pages 45, 46


Quotes From Speak With Page Numbers Second Marketing Period 

“I know my head isn’t screwed on straight. I want to leave, transfer, warp myself to another galaxy. I want to confess everything, hand over the guilt and mistake and anger to someone else. There is a beast in my gut, I can hear it scraping away at the inside of my ribs. Even if I dump the memory, it will stay with me, staining me. My closest is a good thing, a quiet place that helps me hold these thoughts inside my head where no one can hear them.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 51


“I have never heard a more eloquent silence.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 57


“He says a million things without saying a word… I have never heard a more eloquent

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 57


“I want to make a memorial for our turkey. Never has a bird been so tortured to provide such a lousy dinner.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 61


“This is wonderful, wonderful! Be the bird. You are the bird. Sacrifice yourself to abandoned family values….”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 62


“There is something about Christmas that requires a rug rat. Little kids make Christmas fun. I wonder if could rent one for the holidays. When I was tiny we would by a real tree and stay up late drinking hot chocolate and finding just the right place for the special decorations. It seems like my parents gave up the magic when I figured out the Santa lie. Maybe I shouldn’t have told them I knew where the presents really came from. It broke their hearts.

I bet they’d be divorced by now if I hadn’t been born. I’m sure I was a huge disappointment. I’m not pretty or smart or athletic. I’m just like them- an ordinary drone dressed in secrets and lies. I can’t believe we have to keep playacting till I graduate. It’s a shame we just can’t admit that we have failed at family living, sell the house, split up the money, and get on with our lives. Merry Christmas.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Pages 70, 71


“They say they have noticed me drawing. I almost tell them right then and there. They noticed.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 72


“I just want to sleep. A coma would be nice. Or amnesia. Anything, just to get rid of this, these thoughts, whispers in my mind. Did he rape my head, too?”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Pages 81, 82


“I watch the Eruptions. Mount Dad, long dormant, now considered armed and dangerous. Mount Saint Mom, oozing lava, spitting flame. Warn the villagers to run into the sea.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 87


“I open up a paperclip and scratch it across the inside of my left wrist. Pitiful. If a suicide attempt is a cry for help, then what is this. A whimper, a peep? I draw little window cracks of blood, etching line after line until it stops hurting.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 87


“Rumors are spread by jealous people”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 90


Speak Quotes And Page Numbers Third Marketing Period 

“I want to be in fifth grade again. Now, that is a deep dark secret, almost as big as the other one. Fifth grade was easy — old enough to play outside without Mom, too young to go off the block. The perfect leash length.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 99


“It’s Nathaniel Hawthorne Month in English. Poor Nathaniel. Does he know what they’ve done to him? We’re reading The Scarlet Letter one sentence at a time, tearing it up and chewing on its bones.
It’s all about SYMBOLISM, says Hairwoman. Every word chosen by Nathaniel, every comma, every paragraph break — these were all done on purpose. To get a decent grade in her class, we have to figure out what he was really trying to say. Why couldn’t he just say what he meant? Would they pin scarlet letters on his chest? B for blunt, S for straightforward?”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 100


“I can see us, living in the woods, her wearing that A, me with a S maybe, S for silent, S for stupid, for scared. S for silly. For shame.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 101


“Who cares what the color means? How do you know what he meant to say? I mean, did he leave another book called “Symbolism in My Books?” If he didn’t, then you could just be making all of this up. Does anyone really think this guy sat down and stuck all kinds of hidden meanings into his story? It’s just a story…. But I think you are making all of this symbolism stuff up. I don’t believe any of it.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Pages 101, 102


I cut class, you cut class, he, she, it cuts class. We cut class, they cut class. We all cut class. I cannot say this in Spanish because I did not go to Spanish today. Gracias a dios. Hasta luego.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 107


“It is easier to floss with barbed wire than admit you like someone in middle school.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 108


“It doesn’t hurt. Nothing hurts except the small smiles and blushes that flash across the room like tiny sparrows.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 109


“Do they choose to be so dense? Were they born that way? I have no friends. I have nothing. I say nothing. I am nothing. ”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 116


“I can’t do everything for you. You must walk alone to find your soul.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 118


“When people don’t express themselves, they die one piece at a time.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 122


“Art without emotion its like chocolate cake without sugar. It makes you gag.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 122


“When people don’t express themselves, they die one piece at a time. You’d be shocked at how many adults are really dead inside—walking through their days with no idea who they are, just waiting for a heart attack or cancer or a Mack truck to come along and finish the job. It’s the saddest thing I know.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 122


“Mr Freeman: “Art without emotion is like chocolate cake without sugar. It makes you gag.” He sticks his finger down his throat. “The next time you work on your trees, don’t think about trees. Think about love, or hate, or joy, or pain- whatever makes you feel something, makes your palms sweat, or your toes curl. Focus on that feeling.
When people don’t express themselves, they die on piece at a time. You’d be shocked at how many adults are really dead inside- walking through their days with no idea who they are, just waiting for a heart attack or cancer or a mack truck to come along and finish the job. It’s the saddest thing I know.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 122


“My face becomes a Picasso sketch, my body slicing into pieces.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 124


“I push my ragged mouth against the mirror. A thousand crushed bleeding lips pushed back at me…”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 125


“Cold and silence. Nothing quieter than snow. The sky screams to deliver it, a hundred banshees flying on the edge of the blizzard. But once the snow covers the ground, it hushes as still as my heart.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 130


“I flip ahead in the textbook. There’s an interesting chapter about acid rain. Nothing about sex. We aren’t scheduled to learn about that until eleventh grade.”

~ Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 146


Speak Book Quotes With Page Numbers Fourth Marketing Period 

“Nothing is perfect. Flaws are interesting. Be the tree.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 153


“Mr. Freeman: You are getting better at this, but it’s not good enough. This looks like a tree,but it is an average, ordinary, everyday, boring tree. Breathe life into it. Make it bend – trees are flexible, so they don’t snap. Scar it, give it a twisted branch – perfect trees don’t exist. Nothing is perfect. Flaws are interesting. Be the tree.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Mr. Freeman, Page 153


“Don’t expect to make a difference unless you speak up for yourself.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 159


“My head is killing me, my throat is killing me, my stomach bubbles with toxic waste. I just want to sleep. A coma would be nice. Or amnesia. Anything, just to get rid if this, these thoughts, whispers in my mind.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 165


“Too much sun after a Syracuse winter does strange things to your head, makes you feel strong, even if you aren’t.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 180


“A little kid asks my father why that man is chopping down the tree.

Dad: He’s not chopping it down. He’s saving it. Those branches were long dead from disease. All plants are like that. By cutting off the damage you make it possible for the tree to grow again. You watch – by the end of summer, this tree will be the strongest on the block.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 187


“I have survived. I am here. Confused, screwed up, but here. So, how can I find my way? Is there a chain saw of the soul, an ax I can take to my memories or fears?”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 188


“Sometimes I think high school is one long hazy activity: if you are tough enough to survive this, they’ll let you become an adult. I hope it’s worth it.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 191


“IT happened. There is no avoiding it, no forgetting. No running away, or flying, or burying, or hiding.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 298


“I look at my homely sketch. It doesn’t need anything. Even through the river in my eyes I can see that. It isn’t perfect and that makes it just right.”

~Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak, Page 298

The Best Book Quotes With Page numbers


Speak Summary

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is a powerful novel about a young girl’s journey of self-discovery. Melinda Sordino, a freshman in high school, is an outcast struggling to cope with the trauma of being raped the summer before.

Through her journey to find her voice and identity, she learns to confront her issues, stand up for herself, and speak out against the injustices in her life. Melinda faces harsh judgment from her peers and adults who don’t understand her, but she finds comfort in her art, her friendship with her classmate Heather, and speaking out about her experiences.

Through her courage and determination, Melinda learns she is strong enough to be heard and take control of her life despite her obstacles.

Fun Fact: Speak is set in Syracuse, New York, where I attended college.


Know a classmate who also needs to write about Speak? Share this post with them if you found it helpful.

Need to write about another book? Search this website to see if I already wrote about it. If not, request it in the comments.

Further Reading

50 Wonder Quotes With Page Numbers


Leave a Reply

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: