Speak up (bad pun)

In my morning Web cruising I came across a post by Laurie Halse Anderson, author of the young adult novel Speak — turns out some whack-job is trying to censor the book in Missouri:

Wesley wrote an opinion piece in the News-Leader of Springfield, MO, in which he characterized SPEAK as filthy and immoral. Then he called it “soft pornography” because of two rape scenes.

The fact that he sees rape as sexually exciting (pornographic) is disturbing, if not horrifying. It gets worse, if that’s possible, when he goes on to completely mischaracterize the book.

I read Speak when I was 13 years old and spent the following year obsessing over the book; it was not only the subject of an eighth grade book report, but it resonated with me on a profound personal level.

Anderson makes a good point: what kind of sicko defines “rape” as “pornography”? This book was the single most important novel I read in middle school. It was honest, succinct and compelling; if I ever reproduce and have girl-spawn (or boy-spawn), I am forcing them to read Speak.

Anderson has garnered anti-censorship support from few big names, one being Judy Blume, but I’ll take a leap and don Anderson the Judy Blume of my generation. If anything, all this censorship talk will compel even more people to read the book, much to Mr. Scroggin’s dismay.

(If you feel strongly about this, scroll to the bottom of Anderson’s original post. She’s included links where you can respond to the anti-Speak editorial, submit a letter to the newspaper’s editor or write a letter to the high school.)