Monday, September 20, 2010

Banned Book Month Kicking off Early?

We here at Kepler's have always been proud to carry books that some close-minded folks try to ban. We were shocked and disheartened to hear that a man named Wesley Scroggins, an associate professor of management at Missouri State University, is trying to ban a fantastic YA book by Laurie Halse Anderson called Speak (she is speaking at Kepler's November 10th!). I rarely recommend YA selections since my picks are typically from when I was young, and are likely a bit dated, however, our entire store concurs that this book is amazing, and SHOULD be read by young and old alike.

Our fabulous Youth Events Coordinator Angela posted the following on the Teen Blog (which you should read regularly because is it awesome):
Welsey Scroggins characterized SPEAK as filthy and immoral. Then he called it “soft pornography” because of two rape scenes.

I simply find it hard to believe that any educator (or anyone at all for that matter) could possibly claim that rape is synonymous with pornography. Makes me shudder just to think about it.

We're talking about Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, a book I think all teenagers should read, a book that has inspired so many, and helped so many more. It's a book that helps students, teachers, and parents discuss a topic like rape and not ignore it - because ignoring it simply will not make it go away. It teaches people to speak out.

Can Mr Scroggins really have read Speak? So many speak out against books they only hear about. Almost worse if he has read it because there is no way you can find those scenes in Speak arousing. But once again someone is putting a fine writer on the defensive (just like Ellen Hopkins last month when she was uninvited to speak to teens).

In this run up to banned book week, we are again reminded why we have to fight censorship and stand up for our intellectual freedoms. So if you haven't already read Speak, do so. It is a wonderful book that should be read by all.

And if you want to read more about this, click here to read Laurie's own account.

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