By now most of you have probably heard of Wesley Scroggins and the opinion piece he wrote for the News Leader of Springfield, MO.
He calls the novel SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson "soft pornography," among other things, along with SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE and TWENTY BOY SUMMER.
He wants these books out of the school district.
He wants teens who might be struggling around issues of rape, which SPEAK is about, or around issues of grief, which TWENTY BOY SUMMER is about, to not have these incredible books to help them know they're not alone.
Why must people feel the need to go out and take away books from other people? I don't understand! No one has the right to decide what my kids shouldn't be reading except ME. No one has the right to decide what your kids shouldn't be reading except YOU.
There are some incredible posts around the blogosphere about women who were victims of sexual assault, and the shame they felt even though they did NOTHING WRONG.
Check out this brave post by author Saundra Mitchell that made me cry.
Or this heartfelt and brave post by author C.J. Redwine.
Or this brave and sad post by author Cheryl Rainfield.
You can find a round-up of all the various posts that encourage everyone to speak loudly HERE.
SPEAK is one of the greatest books of our time. I'm so glad Laurie Halse Anderson had the courage to write it.
Another author, Daisy Whitney, faced the page with courage, and I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of her upcoming novel THE MOCKINGBIRDS, which also deals with date rape. It is SUCH a good book. And I know like SPEAK, it will help countless women as they struggle to come to terms with what has happened to them after being sexually violated.
I want to give the ARC away to someone because this is a book that I hope many, many people read. The more we read, the more we talk, and the more we let it be known that we will not sit by silently while the Wesley Scroggins of the world try to bully us into his irrational way of thinking.
Trust me, you want to read this book. I want you to read this book! So comment and you're entered. I'll draw a name Thursday, 9/23 at 5:00 pm PST. US Residents only please.
Now go and SPEAK LOUDLY!!!