Thursday, September 23, 2010


Have you heard about the horrifyingly stupid op-ed piece by a university professor attempting to set in motion a ban Laurie Halse Anderson's book Speak? Lots of bloggers have been writing about this, and since I need to be revising right now, I will refer you to Stephanie's post about it. I hope you will check it out. Book banning is always a horror, and in this case, it is just so . . . so . . . evil, so evil-stupid, and such a perfect encapsulation of the horrors of censorship. I mean, the book is about finding one's voice to speak up about rape, and this idiot masquerading as an educator (shudder shudder) is trying to silence it and keep it out of the hands of the very victims who might be helped by it. AUGGGHHHHH!!!

Shannon Hale also blogged about it here, which is where I first heard about the controversy. There's an excerpt in her post from a reader about a library copy of Speak and its poignant last page that really testifies to the importance of this book.

Also, I saw in Stephanie's post that a school district has banned Sherman Alexi's Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and I am reeling over that. National Book Award winner! Brilliant! Brilliant! On what grounds was it banned? It's not sexually explicit, and that's the usual culprit? Is it because of the alcoholism? Because oh sure, we shouldn't let young people read about the devastation of alcoholism.

Why, America? WHY?

On a much happier note, Clementine took her first steps yesterday, which was cute beyond cute. I could TELL she was ready, the way she was just standing there all steady. I KNEW if I coaxed her, she would walk, so I actually had to hold her off for a few minutes until Jim could get there, and then . . . she did it! Back and forth between us, four or five steps at a time, and then she would fling herself into our arms. So, she has to work on her landings :-) It's all geared toward the rushing leap right now, which is just fine. What's better than a baby hurling herself laughing into your arms?


Crystal Cook said...

This whole thing with Speak has turned me (a very mild mannered citizen btw) into a die hard fighter of book banning. I wrote a very long post about this too, I'm really glad to see you do it. One more thing to like about you :)

And, I've been pouring over your blog, loving your writing tips and sense of humor and also I'm almost finished reading Lips Touch (which I am really loving).

That is such happy news about your baby. So sweet :) I remember those first steps so well. I have three boys, my youngest is two.

Unknown said...

I saw your tweet about the book banning and Clementine! Both worthy causes to tweet about! I first read "Speak" in high school. Never having been a victim of sexual abuse, it was a painful, but effective way of getting me to understand how it can make someone feel. I could relate to the part about self-injury. If male topics could also be part of a high school reading curriculum, I would strongly encourage "Speak" to be required reading somewhere between the ages of 13-17 (I just know those high school seniors would not take it to heart).

Amber said...

Two things come to my mind-- One, it never shocks me how SILENT people want to be about the FACT of sexual abuse and rape in our society. Which is why it happens like it does. Period. Whenever I post anything about rape or asking for help for a cause like RAINN on fb...crickets. And I have conversations all the time with people who act like if they don't talk about it, their kids will "forget it", or never know about it... And it does so much more harm, the silence. Books like SPEAK are more important than people know. We can't let FEAR rule the day.

Two-- Part of this problem is because we have given way TOO MUCH of our own brains away, and let people who think they "know best" decided way too much of our life for us... Busy-bodies, with nothing better to do, and the rest of us are too busy with life-living to realize this mindset has taken over. I think about it every morning while trying to drop my kids off in the FREAKING OVER MANAGED carpool line at school. It worked FINE last year, now the bossy micro-managers took over and all is chaos, I tell you!

People have to stand up and say NO. NO you can't tell me what to put in my own BRAIN, or how to live my life, or who to love, or what to eat... No. I can think for myself.

And then they need to DO IT.


Liana said...

Congratulations, Clementine! Yaay!!! :)

Also, book banning should be...uh...banned. Sheesh. Aren't we supposed to be the Free country of Free speech? Urgh.

ann foxlee said...

I feel like the people who want to ban books haven't actually read them... most of the time it seems that they have a vague idea of the story, have read a quote or two, and then promptly miss the entire point of the book-- which is usually the opposite of what they think it is.
Gah! We seem to be overrun with ignorance in America these days...

lol, my word verification is 'Foolo' Yes, that nut job professor is a fool-o!

PS, Congrats to Clementine on her first steps! whoohoo!

Laini Taylor said...

Ann, I think you're totally right. Book banners are not readers. Except maybe of the Bible, though I don't think they have the best understanding of that, either!

Matthew MacNish said...

I came here from Nathan Bransford's blog and I just have to say: Well said!

Banning books is ridiculous. You may as well try to ban knowledge. Both literacy and literature are human rights as far as I'm concerned.

New follower now, nice ta meet ya!

boros1124 said...

This is a very good book. I've read. I recommend it to everyone. A little of interest:

Darren Demers said...

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