I can’t be sure if it is ironic or fitting that this is happening 5 days before Banned Books Week.
A Missouri State Professor is calling for the banning of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, denouncing it as “soft pornography.”
Other bloggers have been writing about this topic with more eloquence than I can, so I’m just going to post several links for you to peruse. GreenBeanTeenQueen is a YA librarian who lives near Republic High School, so this issue hits very close to home, and Reclusive Bibliophile is compiling blog entries on the incident.
Rape and sexual assault, though they occur with startling frequency, are severely underreported. Books like Speak give victims a voice and allow others to gain some understanding of what it is to be in that position. I have great respect for authors who are unafraid to explore such issues accurately and an even greater amount for the survivors who are able to overcome such tragedy.
I know I should be thinking that perhaps something good can come of all of this. That more people will undoubtedly be reading or re-reading Speak. That in fact, an entire community is coming together to support this book. That for those who are reading it for the first time, this book will shed some light on this difficult topic. That perhaps parents will become more involved with their teen’s reading by way of actually reading, enjoying, and critically thinking about books together. I know there are plenty of others who agree that restricting anyone’s right to read and information is outright wrong. But right now, I’m just plain angry.