November Book: Speak


I haven’t written about my books for a while, but I’ve still been reading. November’s book was recommended by one of my favorite professors. He taught High School English before becoming a professor, so he and I got along really well.

One day we were talking about “cannon” literature, and I was saying how important I thought it was to read the Classics. He surprised me by responding that he didn’t place as high a value on the Classics as Modern literature. He said he felt modern literature resonated more with modern students, because it deals with actual issues of our day. I was initially mildly offended, but I’ve given thought to his opinion, and I see where he’s coming from. Modern literature does raise discussions that are more relevant to the life of a Generation Z teenager. (That awkward moment when Millennials are all grown up.)

So Speak. (Subtitle: The groundbreaking novel that changed everything.) Melinda is 13 years old and just beginning her first year of High School. She ruined a wild back-to-school party by calling 911, and now everyone hates her. The actual incident that caused her to call the cops isn’t revealed until later in the book, but once she’s able to speak up and talk about it, everything changes. Powerful story. Not 6th grade.

I’m interested in others’ thoughts on Classic vs. Modern literature. Pros and cons? Is one better? Is Hawthorne timeless? (Obvi HP is a Classic.)

2 thoughts on “November Book: Speak”

  1. Hmmm…I don’t know. I don’t feel I’m much of an authority on that. Maybe it’s like music–there are the “classics” but music is always changing and I think it’s possible for new “classics” to be created every day. Afterall, they, along with movies like “It’s a Wonderful Life” weren’t classics the day they were made.

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