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by Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak Chapter 55 Summary

Clash of the Titans

  • People have been noticing that Melinda has been skipping school, so a meeting is arranged with Mom, Dad, Principal Principal, the guidance counselor, and Melinda.
  • They can't understand why Melinda won't talk or explain herself to them.
  • Principal Principal wants to know why Melinda had good grades, good attendance, and good behavior last year, but not this year.
  • Mom thinks Melinda is acting out to make her parents notice her. Dad thinks the school has done something to hurt or change Melinda.
  • The counselor asks Mom and Dad if they have "marriage issues" (55.16).
  • Mom curses; Dad tells the counselor to "visit that hot, scary, underground world" (55.17).
  • Next, Mom and Dad say they are sorry for losing their cool.
  • Melinda imagines the scene as if it's a musical and her parents are singing show tunes. The thought makes her giggle. Her mom wants to know what's funny about the situation.
  • Dad says her "slacker attitude" (55.22) must be something she's learned at school.
  • The counselor tells Mom and Dad that Melinda's friends, Meg Harcutt, Emily Briggs, and Siobhan Falls, are "very nice" girls (55.23). Principal Principal agrees that those girls are nice.
  • Principal Principal asks Melinda if those girls are, in fact, her friends.
  • Melinda wonders how they can be so blind. Can't they see she doesn't have any friends at all?
  • Melinda "ha[s] nothing," "say[s] nothing," and "[is] nothing" (55.25).
  • She considers taking a bus to Arizona.

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