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by Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak Chapter 58 Summary

Riding Shotgun

  • Melinda stops skipping school. She likes being on top of her classes again.
  • The guidance counselor gives Mom and Dad the good news. She says they should give Melinda a gift of some sort. They decide to buy her some new clothes.
  • Melinda can't stand shopping with Mom, so she's glad when Mom and Dad say her shopping spree is to take place at Effert's. Effert's is the store where Mom works; she gets a discount.
  • At least there Melinda can shop fast and easy and go back home.
  • She's waiting for the bus to take her to Effert's after school. It's freezing.
  • Mr. Freeman pulls up in a blue Volvo and offers her a ride. She accepts, and warms up in the cozy car while Mr. Freeman drives.
  • He compliments her on her cubist tree, saying she's improved a lot as an artist, even though she probably doesn't see it. Melinda says, "I don't know anything. My trees suck" (58.10).
  • Mr. Freeman says that she shouldn't put herself down like that. In art, mistakes are an opportunity to learn and grow.
  • Melinda, surprised that she's talking so much, says that she doesn't understand what Mr. Freeman means when he tells them "to put emotion into [their] art" (58.13). She says, "I don't know what I'm supposed to feel" (58.13).
  • Mr. Freeman says that powerful art comes when people use art to express their emotion. When people don't express what they feel, they die inside.
  • At Effert's, Melinda thanks Mr. Freeman for the ride and gets out.
  • Mr. Freeman tells her, "You're a good kid. I think you have a lot to say. I'd like to hear it" (58.17).

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