I wanted to take today to post about this whole Wesley Scroggins thing. If you haven't heard the whole story you can read about it here. In short, Scroggins, stated that Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak should be classified as soft porn because of its filthy and demeaning nature. Scroggins also claims that the school board and administration should know better than to let Speak, along with Twenty Boy Summer, and Slaughterhouse Five, be a part of the curriculum because they're Christians and are exposing their children to immorality by doing so. Being a Christian is about helping people and witnessing to them not about judging and putting people down. Get over yourself. I mean, there are people out there that might say you're being immoral by reading the Bible because it's not all puppy dogs and unicorns farting rainbows.
I, along with the rest of the book community, am enraged over this. How in the world does one view RAPE as soft porn? A sadistic moron if you ask me.
I personally have not yet read Speak, although it has been on my radar for quite some time (I DID buy two copies today though). I have seen the movie and I think having something like Speak available to teens is a good thing. Yes, the content can be disturbing at times but let's face it, it's based off real experiences.
What if Speak's main character, Melinda, had read a book with like this. Would she have had the courage to tell someone what happened sooner? Would she have gone through all that extra unnecessary heartache? Probably not. Having a connection with someone (whether in real life or a character in a movie/book) can make all the difference. I remember as a teen that finding something I could identify with gave me not only comfort but strength as well.
You can read Laurie's response to Scroggins here, check out other authors and bloggers who have something to say on the matter here, and you can also check out the twitter hashtag #SpeakLoudly.
I hate the fact that Speak is being challenged but what better time to stand up and say this man is wrong, than banned book week.
Which brings me to my next thing. I have a gently used copy of Speak that I will giveaway at the end of banned book week. Just fill out this form by Midnight (Central time) on October 2nd. As with past contests I held on my review blog, you will have 48 hours to reply to my email and I'll pick another winner.