#Speakloudly Twitter campaign that's happening as we speak. It brought back some memories...
- I always kept a few copies of SPEAK in my classroom. In my 6th, 7th and 8th grade classrooms.
- Students who read one of my copies wanted to talk about it. In fact, they couldn't NOT talk about it.
- SPEAK was the first YA book I recommended that Lisa read way back when. From that moment on she was a goner. She devoured YA, eventually began writing YA and never looked back. Thank you Laurie Halse Anderson for my writing partner.
- I live in a smallish town and a bunch of parents were up in arms last year about a teacher choosing SPEAK as required reading in 8th grade. When they asked my opinion, I gave it. And quite loudly.
- From Laurie Halse Anderson's Twitter: "I've spoken to more than half a million students about SPEAK. In EVERY school, there was a kid who came up to me in tears." EVERY teenager should read (or at least have the option of reading) this book.
I KNOW there will come a day when Lydia will not talk to me. In fact, it will hit some time around the end of 6th grade and probably continue through high school. I will try to talk to her, oh how I will try, but if she's more comfortable opening up to a counselor at school or a teacher or a doctor, PLEASE talk to my daughter. In fact, I'll talk to YOU about my daughter, but someone needs to talk directly to HER. God forbid she ever finds herself in Melinda's position and loses her voice. How devastating it would be if she didn't have a way to find it once again.
Our parents gave us a gift. They never censored the books we read. Not when Lisa wanted to read Stephen King in 6th grade, not when Laura flew through Judith McNaught in high school. They encouraged us to read any book we could get our hands on and we would not be writing today if it weren't for them (for so, so many different reasons).
Let children and teenagers escape to any world they want to escape to. Let them read until they find books that excite them, inspire them and teach them. Let books be the means to get a conversation started, to discuss touchy subjects, to open doors. Let SPEAK continue to convert adults to YA enthusiasts, create writing partnerships and give teenagers the courage to speak out.
A HUGE thank you goes out to Paul Hankins for not only starting this campaign, but for being an amazing teacher and human being in general.
For every 25 comments we get on today's post, we will donate a copy of SPEAK to a school or library. So start speaking!