I wasn't going to post about this. I'm joining the Banned Books Challenge (post should be up this weekend!) and I figured my actions would speak louder than words. Plus I'm a book blogger. Doesn't that essentially mean I'm against censorship and book banning?
Well yes and no. I think every book blogger is against censorship and book banning but I still think I should speak up (pun not intended). This will be short because I'm sure (like mine) your Google Reader has over 200+ posts about Speak alone.
Speak is by Laurie Halse Anderson. I read this book the summer before my freshman year. I had never heard of it before, I didn't know what to read and it was on my library's recommended reading list (Whale Talk was also on this list and thus I will forever trust my library's recommendations. And Whale Talk is another banned book! But I digress).
I immediately figured out why Melinda wasn't speaking. But that's not as important. Wat's important is understanding why Melinda won't speak and trying to understand how you can prevent a situation like this from ever happening again. Or at least, create a comfortable environment in which people aren't afraid to admit they've been raped so the IDIOTS who raped them can GO TO JAIL. *deep breath* I admit to being frustrated with Melinda, why couldn't she just SPEAK? And then it hit me. When it finally hit me, it almost knocked me over because I realized I was being so unfair and judgemental of Melinda. Anyway, so many other amazing bloggers have reviewed Speak so I will simply say that it is a book that EVERYONE MUST READ regardless of what certain people think (I refuse to link to his article). Instead I urge you to read the author's response and google the hundreds of support posts being published (or just check out the comments section of the author's post). Don't forget to check out the Twitter hashtag #SpeakLoudly
Also, I would like to state that I'm a Christian. And I'm ashamed of Christians like a certain pastor and a certain professor. This is SO not the way to go.
As for Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler. Since I'm not linking to that man's craziness, I will paraphrase a bit. Basically this professor thinks the book glorifies parties where teens get drunk and having protected sex.
I'm going to be completely honest. When I read that my FIRST thought was "there was sex in this book?" I kid you not. Yes this statement makes me seem unobservant, but it also speaks to how I honed in on the actual focus of the book. It's a story of grief, moving on, forgiveness, love. I was so concerned with Anna being able to move on after Matt's death. How do you move on after you finally realize you've been in love with someone for years and a few days after your secret, glorious relationship starts, they are gone forever? How.Do.You.Deal? The sad thing is, so many teens will have to deal with this. Tragic accidents, fatal illnesses, etc. This book details the different (and often ineffective) ways people grieve. After I thought back on it, I do remember sex occurring but it obviously made no impact on me. Neither did the drunk parties. Maybe because those happen in real life? Every teen is going to end up in those situations at one point in their life, unintentional or not. Oh and did I miss the part where having protected sex is a bad thing? That means a 99% less chance of pregnancy and STDs. That would be a good thing!
I know this whole post was rather incoherent but I just wanted to share my thoughts about this. Basically
Oh and professor? You just helped increase book sales for Speak, Twenty Boy Summer and Cat's Cradle. And yes, I am having an actual LOL moment (I doubt the professor knows what that means though....It has nothing to do with sex/drinking/porn, don't worry!). So THANK YOU because these books deserve to be read by teens everywhere and I'm glad your shortcomings are helping others.