Wanted: Titles of Compelling Books

Dear Daughter is a speechie.  Speechies need compelling stories to cut into compelling speeches.  Henceforth the call for book titles of compelling reads.

 So, what makes a great speech book?

  • Compelling Content.  Or rather, engaging stories that have emotional moments.  A speech is created by cutting passages and piecing them together in a way that tells a story.  No genre should be dismissed as long as emotional impact exists–whether the content makes the reader laugh or cry.  An example of compelling content is A Child Called It.
  • Compelling Characters.  Audience connection is so important in a speech.  Speechies literally perform in front of judges.  Speechies become the character, while the speech itself is the character’s plea to be heard.  Compelling characters: Katniss at Rue’s death in The Hunger Games.
  • Compelling Voice.  Humor, hate, frustration, love, heartache.  All these things can be present in a good speech, but the voice must be strong enough to carry the content.  Can the audience feel the character based on the words he uses?  If so, this would make a good speech.  Example: Susanna Kaysen’s memoir, Girl Interrupted.

Competitive speech is made up of different categories.  Humor, prose, drama (plays), duos (two speechies), poetry, etc.  It is especially difficult to pin down a good book for prose.  It takes time to read through novels and/or memoirs until a speechie finds the right fit.  Because of this, I’m developing a resource list in hopes of helping our speechies more easily sift through the abundance of titles on the shelves.

What I need from you: Titles of books that moved you (joyfully or tragically) and a brief quip on why/how the book impacted you.  If you can give a specific example, that would be great, but not necessary.

Thanks so much!



6 responses to “Wanted: Titles of Compelling Books

  1. I had friends who were speechies, but it was called something else. I can’t remember right now though. It’ll probably come to me later when I’m in public and I’ll shout it aloud, LoL.

    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It’s set during WWII and told from the POV of death. Amazing. The chapters are short, so your daughter might be able to find one she’d like to read. Good luck to her!

  2. As a child/YA reader, Ring of Endless Light moved me and reminded me of why I wanted to write. It’s by Madeleine L’Engle.

    Anything by Terry Pratchett makes me giggle, but Sourcery, Holywood and the one about the incarnation of Death, the name of the book itself escapes me, was hysterical. Good luck to your daughter!

  3. Life of Pi would be a fun book to carve up, and since it is about a tiger in a lifeboat, it would fit well for a YA crowd.

    The book impacted me because I am a little bit obsessed with stranded loners, and how they deal with the isolation.

    – Eric

    • Great title, Eric.

      Is your obsession due to your life circumstances? J/K, you are very grounded and amazingly social. Maybe your obsession comes from helping the stranded survive?

      Hugs~ Cat

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