Sunday, September 19, 2010

Be heard!

Speak Loudly. 

This is the call going out around the blogosphere today. 

Speak: 10th Anniversary Edition Slaughterhouse-Five: A Novel Twenty Boy Summer

Speak by Laurie Hales Anderson , Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut and Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler have all been challenged in a school district in Republic, Missouri by a man who has written an opinion piece in the local newspaper calling these books "filthy" among other things.

Laurie Hales Anderson, the author of Speak, has responded with this blog post, calling on readers everywhere to write letters to the Editor of the newspaper printing the article, the school administration, and to comment directly on the opinion piece. Sarah Ockler, the author of Twenty Boy Summer, is all riled up on this blog post.  For Laurie, Sarah and and YA authors everywhere, I will SPEAK LOUDLY.

I find it somewhat ironic that here is a man who wants to take a book like Speak away from teens, a book that has given girls the gift of courage to speak out for themselves, protecting them from an abusive relationship, empowering them to talk to someone who can help them.  For these girls, I will SPEAK LOUDLY.

The response to this issue is overwhelming, and I am saddened by how many girls, even many of my fellow book bloggers, have been victims of sexual and emotional abuse.  These same women have found their voice, and they will be heard.  In order for them to be heard even louder, I add my voice to theirs.  For my fellow book bloggers, I will SPEAK LOUDLY.

Twitter is on fire today, and I don't expect the blaze to go out anytime soon.  English teacher, Paul Hankin, of Raw Ink, has already created a hashtag #speakloudly where people can tweet their opinions and share links.  (Tweet @SarahOckler and @HalseAnderson too) For English teachers everywhere, I will SPEAK LOUDLY.

Judy Blume is speaking loudly to the National Council Against Censorship.  As a girl who found refuge in Deanie, for this generation's Judy Blumes, I will SPEAK LOUDLY.

I am a parent, and I have strong opinions on what I feel my children should and should not read, but I do not decide for your children, and I sure as hell don't want you deciding for my children (no offense).  So, for parents everywhere I will SPEAK LOUDLY.

I ask you to join us, and SPEAK LOUDLY.

Bloggers and Authors are speaking out:
The Lost Entwife
The Story Siren
Writing Finally
A.S. King (author of Please Ignore Vera Dietz)
C.J. Redwine
Frankie Writes
Sisters In Scribe
Harmony's Radiant Reads
A Good Addiction
Valerie Kemp (YA Author)
Lisa and Laura Write - donating copies of Speak for every 25 comments! 
The Bookologist
My Friend Amy

**Something tells me this list will triple by the end of the day. 

Link It:
Sarah Ockler
Laurie Halse Anderson

READ Them!

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Pam said...

Great post and thank you for Speaking Loudly. I heard you!

Rachel said...

I totally agree with you! said...

Thanks for the links and for speaking loudly, Alison! I'm so amazed at all the wonderful support. :-)

Sarah Ockler

Amy said...

When I reviewed this book in early Sept I remarked that I seriously could not understand why anyone would want to ban this book, and it shocks me that people do. It seems I knew what was coming, and that post was rather timely.

What I especially don't get is this guy comparing RAPE to SOFT PORN? Really? What? Excuse me? Yeah, I don't get it. Especially because, having read the book, there are almost no details given of the actual events. Sigh.

Maiden Myth (aka Brianna Bruce) said...

Brilliant post. It is so moving how many authors, bloggers, readers, and many more are rallying together so that our voices will be heard.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Hi Alison, I am behind the times here just coming out of a crazy week and only now finding time to check out blogs. Only today did I start hearing about what was going on with this book and I am just shocked.

Stopping by my library in a little while here to see if they have it.

Alison's Book Marks said...

I don't have much time to respond to each and every one of you, just a great big Thank You for hearing the call and Speaking Loudly with me!

I just checked, and my local high school has 9 copies of Speak in their library! It was also on the voluntary summer reading list this year.

I encourage everyone to check their libraries (like Sheila is doing!) and their schools. Often, controversial books are quietly pulled from the shelf. Make sure it's there, and not in the back corner of the guidance counselor's office with the pamphlets on teen drinking and peer pressure.

Amy said...

Fantastic post, Alison! It's horrendous that any one even thinks or talks about banning books, let alone does it. And I really believe that books like "Speak" are vital for a young girl's growth & maturity. I also believe that anyone advocating banning books has some very strong personal issues they are denying & refusing to face. They should leave books alone!

Thank you for speaking out.
~ Amy

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