Monday, September 20, 2010

SPEAK Loudly

I'm going to upfront admit that I haven't read the book Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, and also that that is a crime I'm about to fix.

If you haven't already heard, Speak is under attack for being "pornographic", "filthy" and un-Christian. Here's Laurie's retaliation.

Once again, I have not read this book, but it isn't because I'm too afraid of things that are scary and true, like book censors would have me believe. I'm honestly shaking with rage right now. How DARE anyone take away and individual's Constitutional rights? How does that "protect" anyone? Yes, censorship is in place to "protect" the young, but no book should ever be banned out of fear of new or different thoughts.

True, I've heard that Speak has rape scenes. Like Laurie says, this should not be considered pornographic. If anyone's offended by it in some way, they can certainly walk away from the book, maybe even tell their friends they don't like it, but don't ban an entire school system from reading a book otherwise beautifully written!

My own book, The Quiet Calling, has delicate subject matter. Knowing that in the future, if it's ever published, it could be banned.... I can't help but cry.

I'm going to go find a copy of Speak right now and I'll be one more person that isn't afraid of the unknown.

ALSO: Lisa and Laura Roecker are donating a copy of the book to a library or classroom for every 25 comments left on THIS post. Go comment now!

(Sorry this post is all ranty and incomprehensible. Book banning does that to me.)


JenE said...

Let me preface this comment by saying that I have not read the book either.

If I read the article correctly, the writer says that Speak is required reading. If this is accurate, then I believe that is wrong. Requiring me to read something that could "burn my eyes" tramples my rights as much as it would trample your rights if you weren't allowed to read it.

Did I say the book should be banned? No. But we need to remember that personal freedom is a give and take. I shouldn't force my rights (to read a book) to the extent that they infringe on someone else's (to not read it).

Mariah Irvin said...

I agree with you on that point, Jen. But a book shouldn't be removed from a school or community entirely.

JenE said...

Agreed. (Too bad we can't all say that, huh?)

inthewritemind said...

I'm of the same opinion as Jen. It shouldn't be required reading, but at the same time, it shouldn't be removed either.

There have been plenty of books that I've ended up tossing aside because A)the language was too coarse and vulgar, i.e. every other word was the f-word or the s-word (this happened recently with a much hyped about YA book that I just couldn't get through b/c of the language) B)Subject matter was just too much for me.

I'll read a rape scene, if however it's done tastefully. I don't need to read all the gory details (and I've read plenty of rape scenes or near-rape scenes that didn't get detailed). This is probably why I don't read straight-up romance novels either; not much of a fan of the detailed love scenes.

Anyway, I don't believe it should be banned but I also don't believe it should be made required reading either.

I am also saddened when people lump Christians together too--people like him and the guy who wanted to burn the Quran just give us all a bad reputation and make us who are conservative look narrow-minded and bigoted and that saddens me most of all :(

Sarah said...

THIS. So many fabulous posts on this topic! I'm ODing on the awesome.

Sarah said...

THIS. So many fabulous posts on this topic! I'm ODing on the awesome.