Monday, September 20, 2010

#SpeakLoudly: Your Comments = Donated Copies of SPEAK

  
Since I am the worst tweeter ever, Lisa informed me of the #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. 
SPEAK is a book I will never forget. One of the most ridiculous arguments I heard during the SPEAK drama came from a parent who was concerned that *SPOILER ALERT* Melinda eventually opened up to a teacher. He didn't understand why Melinda couldn't open up to a parent and why schools encourage students to forge relationships with counselors and teachers when they should encourage building relationships at home. This sounded like complete jackassery to me. He missed the entire message.

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!

188 comments:

J. L. Jackson said...

I feel strongly book should not be banned anywhere, including SPEAK. I plan on buying a copy for my daughter.

Adventures in Children's Publishing said...

Thanks girls for coming up with such a proactive plan. Unbelievable stuff!

Martina & Marissa

Misha1989 said...

I can't believe I haven't read this book yet.Its not available in my country unfortunately. But from all the things I have heard and read about this novel, I would love to be able to read this book. There are books that inspire you and touch you. I believe Speak might be one of those.

Misha
mishamary@gmail.com

Claire Dawn said...

Wow! I 've read about this on like 10 blogs already. I still can't believe ppl think they have the right to ban OTHER people from reading stuff.

amandawk said...

I had never heard of this book before yesterday. I feel very strongly that no book should be banned. I'm so glad that there are lots of bloggers who are speaking up about this. I am going to get this book right away.

Kulsuma said...

Speak is really worthwhile and I hope a lot of students get to read it! I read it when I was in my early teens and it hasn't left me.

Here's hoping you get a lot of comments!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I'm sorry to say that I haven't read this book yet, but reading your post -- and the ones on multiple blogs today -- I'm committed to buying and starting to read it TODAY.

And I can do that, thanks to the Kindle app on my Droid.

Amie McCracken said...

Speak was my first YA book too; I never looked back. I want to comment a million times so more kids can read this book.

Niki S said...

Very much a worthy cause.

Laura Pauling said...

I've read Speak and loved it. And I knew girls in highschool that were dateraped. It happens more often than adults realize. Or maybe they just ignore that fact. I think a lot of girls keep quiet about it. This book would speak to those girls!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I've known a number of girls who were raped or sexually assaulted as teens. It's a horrible reality, but one that occurs more often than people realize. SPEAK helps girls find their voice, when so many choose to remain silent. Comments on a recent post of mine stated that it is estimated between 60-80% of rape survivors tell no one what happened.

And seriously, I think guys should read the book. It should be manadatory. Then they'll have a better understanding of the affect rape has on the survivior, her family, and her friends.

Matthew Rush said...

Awesome. I have not heard of this book but I will now be seeking it out, without question.

Personally I let my kids read whatever they want. If I have any doubts about the content of a certain novel I make sure to read it myself, so that we can talk about it, if they feel the need.

That's how I ended up in one of my most embarrassing moments: getting called out for reading Twilight at soccer practice.

Matthew Rush said...

BTW you didn't specify whether we could comment more than once. I'm not going to go overboard but here is a second comment just because I love books. I love books being donated to libraries even more.

You. Ladies. Rock!

SweetS said...

The amount of people who are speaking out about this is incredible. Thank you, girls :)

Jemi Fraser said...

This is such an important book and topic. I've taught too many kids who've suffered in silence. Books like Speak are too vital - if they encourage even one child to reach out for help they've done their job. Keep spreading the word.

caitieflum said...

This man is making me so angry! I have not read the book, but know what it is about and think that it should be required reading for 8th grade girls.

I cannot believe one parent didn't like that the girl talked to a teacher. So many teens spend more time around their teachers than their own family. They feel like their parents don't get them or think their parents will blame them for bad things that happen. But they have connected with a teacher, counselor, or other adult role model. It is usually a good thing.

I am very glad this has been brought to our attention

Steph said...

LOVE this. And thanks for making me tear up at 645am while reading about hoping someone will talk to your daughter. I feel so strongly the same way.

You ladies are awesome for doing this. I'm donating some copies and giving away copies of both Speak & Twenty Boy Summer on the blog.

Christine Fonseca said...

Such a great post you guys...and a great campaign. No book should be banned...especially not one like Speak!!!

Meredith said...

YES. And thank you.

Loretta Nyhan said...

Incredible post, Laura.

I kept nodding my head as I read it. My oldest is entering the tween years and I can already see the "pulling away" begin. I would be so thankful if he had a trusted teacher to talk to if he felt he couldn't come to me.

Lola Sharp said...

Just a quick response (I'm 'unplugged', but I came out of my writing cave a bit over the weekend, got my tweet badge and am SPEAKING LOUDLY, wrote my letters to certain people in Missouri)...but to what Stina wrote above, and what I think is even more UNspoken:

BOYS get raped too. With all the shame and 'taboo', they speak up even less frequently.

I think it's important to be aware that there is no age limit or gender that makes you safe from rape.

With love,
Lola

Jade said...

Awesome post! I'm buying myself a copy of SPEAK and then donating it to a library when I've finished reading it.

Anna said...

Speak is just such an amazing book, both for its powerful story and for its amazing writing. Thank you for doing this!

Kelly said...

Speak has been on my To Read list for a while. I need to read this book (I skipped the spoiler alert ;).
Thanks for donating the books. Thankfully my parents didn't censor me nor will I censor my children, in fact I read books along with them so we can discuss them together.

Melanie said...

Thank you for helping to get this book into more hands. The best way to fight those who wish to silence its message is to keep on spreading.

A. Grey said...

This is an amazing book!

I believe that banning books is like trying to ban fragments of life. It never works the way it's supposed to and you hurt far more than you protect. If more girls read SPEAK, perhaps more would speak out. It's a powerful, moving and visceral story and it should never be kept from our kids.

Cat Clarke said...

Good luck with this brilliant idea! Every school library should have at least one copy of SPEAK - an important, beautifully written book.

salarsenッ said...

Ladies, I am in awe of you once again. I know we chatted on Twitter last night and I meant what I said. I'm donating a copy. Feel free to use it within your 25 comment each goal, or spread the love in another way. Just let me know. You have my email. I've linked this post to my blog today. <3

Tina Lynn said...

Awesome post!

Rhonda said...

Awesome as usual ladies!

Lydia said...

Great post and great cause!

Cem said...

Great post, and fantastic that you're donating copies of Speak.

I've read Speak and I was so angry and upset to hear than mans comments yesterday. It's such an important book.

Brittany Landgrebe said...

I LOVE Speak! I bought five copies yesterday, and I'm going to donate them to my local schools. Hell, I might buy 5 more and donate them to the Republic schools.

It's one of those books that NEEDS to be read. I needed to read it and take comfort and strength from it, twice. It's not okay to keep the truth from the populous, no matter how difficult it might be.

Mavie said...

Great post! It's nice of you to donate copies of Speak! In my library, it's one of the most checked-out books!

Can't believe this guy.

Livia said...

Haha. Nice.

Lisa Potts said...

Wonderful post, ladies, and a great idea.

nikkibrandyberry said...

It blows my mind that in 2010 this is still a issue. My children are just now learning to read but I am totally behind this cause. If you don't want to read a book, fine. But don't tell me or mine that we can't either.

Lea (YA Book Queen) said...

Wonderful post and a wonderful cause. Thanks so much! :)

Jess Tudor said...

I'm so glad SPEAK is getting attention but I hope in the momentum we don't forget about the tons of other books that have actually been banned, not just protested. Banned Book Week starts on Sep 25th - buy more than just SPEAK! (But buy SPEAK, too. It's great.)

Louise said...

I was very fortunate as a child...like you ladies my books weren't censored. Reading and discussion was encouraged. I'm glad to have a chance to be part of this. And thanks for bringing attention to this book, and the topic of banned books in general.

Danielle said...

I don't have a daughter but I am one. And I have a 12 year old sister. I completely agree with what you said. Made me cry. She deserves a voice.

Thanks for doing this.

Mariah Irvin said...

I'm so grateful I was able to read such a broad range of books when I was younger and that my parents weren't afraid to let me do so.

Thanks for doing this!

Anne said...

Thank you for sharing this.

Angela Ackerman said...

I can't believe anyone could show such ignorance. They say that one in three women have suffered sexual abuse in their past. How dare this pastor try to censor the truth that represents the voices of victims or minimize their ordeal by equating rape to soft porn?

Books like this exist for a reason: to show the reader that they are not alone and that there is a path out of the darkness.

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Sarah B. said...

I'm a future teacher, and Speak will definitely be on my classroom's bookshelves.

Great idea!

Annette Lyon said...

I first heard about the potential of banning Speak on Janet Reid's blog--and was (rather aptly) speachless.

THANK YOU for doing this!

Holly Dodson said...

This is awesome. I've not read this yet, but I'll be buying a copy today.

NotNessie @ Today's Adventure said...

I've never read speak, but I've talked to people about it, and I know beyond all doubt that this is a powerful book. A book teens should have access to. The idea that someone would ban it from schools and libraries, for the reasons Mr. Scroggins wants to ban it, makes me incredibly angry.

Patricia Lazatin said...

I've seen the movie but never read the book. I'm definitely going to look out for a copy soon. Here's to more copies of the book to go around

storyqueen said...

I always get amazed when people want to censor books for teens. When I was a teen, I read books for adults, as did most everyone I knew.

Everyone, teachers included, thought that was fine.

When my daughter chose to read SPEAK in 7th grade, her teacher warned that it dealt with "Issues" so I read it as well.

What an amazing book it was (is)....and I am not talking about the subject matter, of course, I am talking about the voice. LHA wrote a book so filled with voice, so accessible to the reader...I was filled with awe.

Teens can handle it....SHOULD be allowed to handle it.

How can we expect kids to grow up if we try and control every thought that goes on in their minds?

Sorry...ranting.

Shelley

Amanda said...

I've never read SPEAK, but I think cencorship, book banning in particular, is deplorable! I also had parents who didn't put a cap on what I read and I don't put one on my children. My daughter would probably devour SPEAK. I'm going to buy her a copy!

Sandy said...

This was a great post and I am so happy that there are so many bloggers and authors speaking out against censorship and defending Speak.

Christi Goddard said...

I posted about this on my blog recently. You're welcome to read it.

Books save lives. They give children hope. It helps them imagine there can be an end to their suffering, even when it feels like it never ends.

Katherine Longshore said...

Thanks, ladies. Keep donating. And I will, too.

Danielle said...

I wish I had known about this book when it first came out. I think every young woman deserves a chance to read it.

Aspiring said...

We just read Speak in my Books and Related Materials for Young Adults class, and I could not agree more. If I had discovered this book when I was a teen, so many things would have been different. I might have gotten my voice back sooner.

I don't want to deny that possibility to other teens, and if I do go through with this MA in Education, I will definitely want to include this in my class.

Casey McCormick said...

Powerful post, Laura. Thank you for speaking out!

Sarah Cook-Raymond said...

Fabulous post. I think "Speak" is a book that needs to be accessible to anyone who wants to read it. In the anniversary edition, Laurie Halse Anderson includes a poem, a "mashup" of sorts of the comments she's received from teens on their own experience with abuse. It's amazingly powerful and it helps students to know they're not alone. I can't imagine someone trying to sensor it. Keep the donations coming!

~Jamie said...

This is one of those books that some people NEED to read, not everyone of course, but there are some people that need it in order to speak up... and the fact that someone would take that away from people.

I am so mad about this, I can't even explain it.

robin said...

I never cease to be amazed by the strength and generosity of the kidlit community. You ladies rock.

And censorship sucks.

Anne M Leone said...

Thank you for doing this and speaking up for Speak.

Sara B. Larson said...

Thank you for doing this. I'm just barely hearing about what's going on with SPEAK because we've had kind of a stressful weekend, and it's just sad.

April (BooksandWine) said...

Yay, almost at 75 comments!


I love seeing the impact Speak has had on people, and hate that anyone would want to take that away from students.

mguibord said...

I'm going to see if my daughter's school library has this. If not, they're going to get one :-)
Thanks for getting the word out on an important topic.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

You girls are amazing. I hope all school and public libraries get copies of SPEAK thanks to the outpouring of support going on. Sometimes it takes a jerk to remind us what we must do. When I heard Laurie read her poem, I wanted to weep. Thank you for your stories, too.

Valerie Kemp said...

Thank you so much for doing this! This movement gave me the courage to share my own story on my blog and I think it's just so important that kids are encouraged to SPEAK! I totally agree that this book should be required reading.

stickynotestories said...

I couldn't believe this when I heard about it this morning (well, I could, but I'd like to believe that people wouldn't do these things). Thank you for blogging about it and sending copies of books to libraries and schools!

Audrey (holes In My brain) said...

Thank you for Speaking out about Speak. You're doing a wonderful thing, this book should be in every classroom.

Rachele Alpine said...

I have three copies of the book in my classroom and the library has a bunch more. I agree....this is a book everyone should read. It's so powerful and the events of these last few days have both sickened me (the article about why to censor this book) and elated me (the support of everyone involved!).

Simon C. Larter said...

This is important. This is my comment.

Jen said...

Speak has been on my to-be-read list for awhile. I ordered a copy yesterday thanks to #speakloudly.

My parents never censored us either. My brother loved Harry Potter when he was in middle school and one of his friend's parents was outraged that my parents let him read it. They thought that the books would teach him black magic and all of these other horrible things. My brother kept reading the books and he turned out pretty normal. He hasn't tried to put a spell on me or anything. :)

Lisa_Gibson said...

Wonderful post! Very moving. No one should have their voice quieted. Not Laurie Halse Anderson or our children.
"The books that the world calls immoral, are the books that show the world its own shame." ~Oscar Wilde
Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

Krista Ashe said...

I'm a Christian and a teacher, and I feel very strongly this book should not be banned. I taught it last year, and I would teach it every year if I could. I've always had students chose to do it as their Independent Reading project as well. I applaud Laurie Halse Anderson for writing Speak, and I hope to see it on bookshelves and in classrooms for many years to come!!!

Marsha Sigman said...

People who want to ban books are only half a step away from burning them.

My parents never censored my reading and I will never censor my own children. I'm just happy to see them reading something!

I think this book contains a powerful message and I want it to be available to kids and adults everywhere!

Beth said...

Thank you, thank you, for this post. If all the people who care speak up, I know we can make a difference.

Tere Kirkland said...

Can I comment more than once? ;)

It sounds like none of the detractors have actually sat down and read this book, just skimmed through to find objectionable material to take out of context and throw at school boards.

Grrrrr....

Melissa said...

Well said ladies!

S. Kyle Davis said...

I haven't read SPEAK, but I've seen the film based upon it (*blush*). This whole thing makes me sick, and yet, sad to say, it's pretty unsurprising.

Love what y'all are doing L&L!

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

It saddens me to know the extent to what some people will do to "bubble kids". This is the real world and kids know WAY more than we give them credit for. Kudos for Speak!!

I was not sensored on what to read as a kid. Stephen King at 12, heavy romances at 15 (blush),murder mysterys at 16 and hey I turned out just fine lol!

Mia said...

I agree entirely with you.

*hugs*

Sarah Enni said...

I have not read SPEAK yet but I am going to my local bookstore later today and buying 2 copies. I plan to donate one to my library. The other I will read, and will then either pass on to a teen or donate it to my library also.

Thank you for doing your part, online AND in person. You ladies are inspiring.

Sarah said...

I just read SPEAK for the first time last week, and it blows my mind that someone would want to keep this away from teens. My first thought upon finishing it was that it could actually HELP someone, and I'm sure it has many times over!!

PK Hrezo said...

Holy smokes! The power of a book! Simply amazing. I got chills listening to that poem. Now i need to read tht book!!!

Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

GREAT post, gals! SPEAK was one of the first edgy YA books I ever read (right about the time it was first pubbed) and I was blown away. It's practically perfect.

Megan K. Bickel said...

I'm happy to leave a comment for this. The power of words are never more apparent than they are in books like this.

Sandy said...

I haven't read SPEAK...yet but I will soon. Just checked it out from the library.
I think that teens should always have an option to read any book they want to.

As a kid I was never censored on what I read. I may have started out reading Harry Potter but by freshman year of high school I had picked up romance novels.
My parents never asked about what I read, they were just happy that I was reading so darn much and enjoying it.

Kristi Faith said...

I am SPEAKing out loud!!!!!! This book should be required reading. The emotions and chemical reactions that happen both during and after a rape are confusing and haunting. SPEAK UP!

Sarah said...

Amazing post, Laura. SPEAK is such an important book (not only for teens, but for parents, adults, YA writers) and it makes me sad to think that hear that kids are being denied the chance to read it. Thanks for doing this!

Mary said...

I don't think any books should be banned. If I don't want my children to read a particular book, I'll tell them and explain why. That said, I actually bought SPEAK for my daughter when she was in 8th grade (she's now out of college). She was appalled when I explained the current controversy and said it is absolutely NOT soft-porn.

yabooknerd said...

SPEAK is a book every teen should read, it's THAT powerful!

Lisa Gail Green said...

Wish I could leave ten comments, but I guess that would be cheating! Awesome post!

Tahereh said...

YES! sing it ladies! sing it loud!

<33333333

Alison's Book Marks said...

Thank you for this post, and for your generosity!

I am heading out to the book shop in a few minutes to buy another copy of Speak...just so I can pass it on, and make sure it's passed around.

We will not go quietly!

Dara said...

I definitely think it should NOT be banned but I don't think it should be made "required" reading either. I think that should be left up to the teen. I loathe required reading lists anyway; hated it in junior high and high school and still don't care for them now.

I loved it when my teachers gave a list a books to choose from to read instead of forcing a particular book upon us. I have to admit I probably wouldn't have liked the book if a teacher made me read it; most books that I was made to read for a grade I didn't like (probably because I was like so many teens who loathed being told what to do, LOL).

I guess I'm one of those people who avoid reading books that people tell me "it should be required because (enter topic here) is discussed" etc. If it looks interesting, I'll read it; if not, then I won't. I especially don't like reading books just for controversy's sake. :P I guess I'm just difficult in that way.

Anyway, I've rambled on long enough!

Dara said...

Also, I think what you are doing is wonderful. The book should be made available to anyone who wants to read it. I guess I didn't let that come out in my first comment :P

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Something like rape inspires such fear in us. Just the thought of it happening to my daughter makes me hurt. But God forbid it did happen and she have no voice to speak out. Bad things happen. But shutting down the books that talk about those issues will not make the bad things go away. It merely adds to the silence, making kids who have been forced to deal with such issues on their own that much more vulnerable.

You guys are doing a really great thing supporting SPEAK. You're standing behind every girl who has ever felt the burden of silence.

CL said...

Thank you for doing this! I love seeing all the web support for this book-- and against censorship!

Candyland said...

I think everything that needs to be said, has. The entire basis of this movement is because of a pinhead. So future reference to all other pinheads who want to bash and ban, remember the writing community sticks together, and never backs down.
Word to your mother.

Theresa Milstein said...

I'm commenter 99. 1 more and we get to 100. 4 books!

The outpouring of support for Speak makes the banning and slandering a little easier to deal with.

emily j. griffin said...

Lucky 100. Get ready to donate another book.

Thanks for Speaking Loudly always.

Sarah E Olson said...

I can't believe that censorship issues still come up as often as they do. Parents should be aware of what their children are reading and police it themselves, not relying on their child's teacher or school board to censor items based on the parents own value systems. You may influence what your child reads, but don't think you have the authority to tell any other children what they can or can't read. Say no to censorship!

David Macinnis Gill said...

Speak out for Speak. Speak out for 20 Boy Summer. Speak out for Lessons from a Dead Girl. Speak out for Risha Mullins, who faced this exact battle last year as a classroom teacher in KY. Speak out for every teacher forced to stopped teaching books that matter. And speak out loudest for the teens who need to read these books so that they can find their own voices!

Cat said...

Imho, everybody is entitled to say their own opinion BUT (and that's a big one) I do not have to agree. Some things need to be ignored/forgotten (like some of the books, magazines or songs Neo-Nazis publish) but the only person who can decide what to read/watch/listen and what not is oneself, or -in the case of kids- the parents. I think that no one has the right to forbid someone else to make his/her own decision. Of course, I can try to talk someone out of reading a book but I do not have the right to refuse him/her the chance to read it. I feel very strongly about this. It reminds me of book burnings.
Sorry for rambling. I'm a bit too tired to write more coherently.

No to censorship!!

Marieke said...

Here's to another book! Thank you for doing this, you both rock. #SpeakLoudly

Elana Johnson said...

I too, devoured this book, and every one LHA has written. Loved SPEAK.

jjdebenedictis said...

Long live freedom of speech.

Jessica Lei said...

Donate those books!

beth said...

YES! To all of this :)

Jenn Bailey said...

Commenting my heart out! Sometimes it is easier to talk to someone who doesn't carry your history with them. Sometimes you need a fresh slate to write on and open ears to hear you. This is why ALL avenues of connection must be kept open for our children.

Pamela Ross said...

I fear closed minds, not closed books. SPEAK opens up windows and minds. I hope Laurie Halse Anderson's magnificent story has opened yours. Or told your story and helped you feel less alone and less afraid to SPEAK UP.

Speak Loudly with a soft stick. The power of the written word is the greatest tool we have to building a better tomorrow.

One Pushy Fox said...

I was so pleased to see that you used this book as a tool to promote discussion and build awareness. In my mind, honesty and open discussion are values everyone should be able to support. Thank you so much for donating this book to libraries. Censorship and sexual abuse are, unfortunately, topics that need continual attention.

Krispy said...

THIS! :) Speak Loudly. You ladies rock.

Miriam S. Forster said...

Hooray!!

Amanda said...

I believe this year's Banned Books Week campaign sums it up quite nicely:

Think for yourself, let others do the same.

As a children's librarian and huge fan of this book, thank you for helping put this book back in the hands of our teens.

Hannah said...

Due to the drama and the call for banning this book, I have requested it from my library. I just wanted to be included in the numbers that will provide books to others. Thanks for the POSITIVE way in which you are handling the situation!

Mr. Paul W. Hankins said...

Leaving my comment in the hopes that one more copy of Speak will find its place in the hands of a reader!

Thanks for posting this offer!

Steve Brezenoff said...

Thanks for doing this. Here's my comment, and hopefully another chunk of 25 will develop.

Kimberly Franklin said...

Banning books is down right silly. Thanks girls for speaking out about Speak!

K. M. Walton said...

Such a valuable and important book for teens. Kudos to you for your giveaway!!

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Yes. 100% yes to all of this. SPEAK is such an important book.

Wendy Qualls said...

This is an excellent idea. I can't afford to buy and donate a copy myself, but I like thinking I helped 1/25th of a copy get out there for someone else to read :-)

Ella said...

This book is amazing and should be compulsory at all schools. Banning it is just ludicrous. And banning this book on the premise that it's 'pornographic' is insulting to every single victim of sexual assault.

Meredith said...

Thank you. This book is SO important, as is the fight against banning books.

Timothy Power said...

Count me in!

David Macinnis Gill said...

Let's give away another copy of SPEAK.

Darrell said...

as a parent of 3 teenage daughters i never questioned what they were reading, just happy that they were reading! I trusted them to make the right decisions.... And i think they have!!

Sarah @ Y.A. Love said...

Thank you for mentioning the part of SPEAK when Melinda speaks with her teacher. I'm in my fourth year of teaching high school English and have had so many heart-to-hearts and "counseling" moments with my students. Most times, they really do just need someone to talk to. Last year, one of my students stayed after school to work on some homework and ended up spending an entire hour talking to me about how hard her life has been. When she was finally done, she sighed a very big sigh, smiled, thanked me and left. Students need to read Melinda's story for many reasons, one of them being to see that teachers REALLY DO CARE!

Susie said...

Every school and library should have a copy of this book. Brilliant post and a wonderful idea!

juliakarr said...

Leaving you lovely ladies a comment to help get one more SPEAK out into the hands of teen readers!

Thanks so much for doing this!

Monica said...

HELL YES!

Great post!

Brittany Landgrebe said...

Wow, you guys are doing freaking awesome! I love this books, I love all the books that this wackadoo wants to ban. Hell, I'll buy and donate some myself!

^_^

baileythebookworm said...

Woohoo!! Donate, donate, donate! This is an awesome way to get the message out, and fight the people who want to impose their own idea of morality on other people and their children. I plan on buying a copy for myself and one for my little sister (14) so that we have something to talk about.

kiri said...

I had never heard of Speak, since we tend to have our own bunch of YA in Germany, and did more so back when Speak came out. Niki told me about it, and it sure sounds like something important for teens to have access to.

Kaige said...

I'd rather have my kids reading and feel they can ask about the subject matter than feel ashamed that they are reading in the first place.

My teen's friends have had enough drama this past year and I hope she never has the need to turn to a book like this, but I sure as hell want the option for her to pick it up and read it to be there.

Kudos for being such an open and approachable teacher! Would that we had more of you to go around.

R.C. Murphy said...

I was never censored as a child. When I wanted to read a book, my parents encouraged it. They would even help when I didn't understand. My mother stood up to teachers that were concerned about a 11 year old reading King and Koontz.

It made me a stronger reader. A stronger writer. And in the end, a stronger person.

I have been tracking the Speak Loudly campaign on Twitter. Thank the gods that someone is standing up to end this absurd notion that children need to have their interests censored.

As soon as I have the funds, I will be purchasing a copy of Speak for our house.

Sterling said...

I'm downright amazed at the impact this 10yo book is still having in people's lives.

I support this effort both because I have known FAR too many who like Melinda have lost their voice and because I am a writer as well.

VR Barkowski said...

Speaking up for SPEAK because every voice counts.

Mary Campbell said...

I haven't read this book and only just heard of it today, but I think it's great that a book has touched so many people and so many want to support this book staying in schools. I actually did a post today on what I think is communities right to decide to remove a book from schools, but I still support the right of people to campaign to keep a book and I support you in donating this book.

Dawn Simon said...

Awesome post. Thank you for donating the books--what a great idea.

The first time I heard of SPEAK was when my daughter recommended it. It's such a powerful book! Great YA can get so many meaningful conversations started. So sad that anyone would try to ban it.

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

Yay, the comment thingy is working--I tried to comment earlier--Im all for getting more copies out into the world--Im giving away 10 on my blog--but was having technical difficulties. Phew. Anyway I don't know what else there is to say--but thank you ladies for doing this!!!

Jen said...

You're absolutely amazing!!!!! What a fantastic cause and I'm in awe of everyone who has already commented!!! Absolute awe!

Lisa said...

Great! I'm reading this book now BECAUSE this guy wanted to ban it! It's like Hermione says to Harry Potter in OotP, "If she could have done one thing to make absolutely sure that every single person in this school will read your interview, it was banning it!"

Terry Stonecrop said...

Happy to hop on board!

I heard about you at Marsha's Musings. Great way to help protect freedom of speech. Bravo!

Corey Schwartz said...

Wow. Makes me want to ask "What country are we living in???"

Carolyn V. said...

I can't believe that book has been around ten years and I have never heard of it. There is so much buzz about it over the internet. It just makes me want to read it. And if I'm correct, the message is a very important one.

writerjenn said...

Donate away!

There's something ironic about an attempt to silence a book that's about how we shouldn't be silent ...

Maggie Desmond-O'Brien said...

Wesley Scroggins has officially put SPEAK and TWENTY BOY SUMMER on my must-read list (I've already read SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE!). Always cracks me up how the book banners only end up adding fuel to reader's flames! Donate away and thank you! =)

RochelleShanlea said...

I love Speak, and I love that you all are willing to do this! I am planning on sending my spare copy around to my friends who haven't read it!

TerryLynnJohnson said...

You guys are amazing to do this. Great plan of action! You rock. And so does this book!

Liza Wiemer said...

What an amazing blog post! We need to let our teens speak! Too many have been raped! As a matter of fact I have seen stats as low as 1 in 6 and as high as 1 in 3 girls lose their virginity by rape! My guess is that it's closer to 1 in 3 because so few speak out! I personally know three young women who have been raped. Let their voices be heard!

Amy Lukavics said...

I absolutely adore SPEAK and am so pleased that you guys are donating copies, how wonderful!

This whole censorship thing has been making my heart hurt. All this support people are showing is amazing.

Jeremy West said...

Thanks for SPEAKing out! And for donating to your local library!

Laura said...

Excellent idea! I totally agree with this!

Alison said...

Great thing you're doing. I haven't read Speak yet, but I loved Wintergirls. Laurie writes important, touching books.

Shannen said...

SPEAK is such a fantastic novel, and you made a great point that teenagers need to open up to someone, even if they aren't their parents.

Gretchen said...

Very nicely put

Little Ms J said...

Well done, sister(s).

Hi, by the way. Sorry I've been missing....

Marina said...

Great book. Great post. I can't understand anyone banning any book. Period.

Kristie Cook said...

I'm not a good tweeter either and just heard of all of this tonight. I'm sick by the catalyst...but also uplifted by all the supporters of Speak and of the freedom to read without censorship. I personally haven't read it yet. Not only will I be buying it ASAP for myself, but also for a few libraries and teens in my life. What you're doing is great!

Laurie said...

This book has been on my TBR list for a while, but after these last few days, it has moved to the top. If my 15-year-old step-daughter has not already read it, I'll strongly encourage her to do so, as well. I just don't understand why anyone would want to prevent this message from being heard!

Lori W. said...

This was one of the first YA books I read as a grown-up, too. Amen to getting it into the hands of more teens!

Myrna Foster said...

I haven't read SPEAK yet, but I will.

Inoli said...

I came here from a retweet by mindfulmusings of a retweet of a tweet of yours. I wanted to be counted among the comment number here. I thought Speak was excellent and very important, went on the read more of LHA's work and follow her blog. I'm glad I heard of your post and am now a follower.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great way to publicize this issue.

Laura Marcella said...

I haven't read "Speak" yet, but I've seen the Lifetime movie adaptation. It's good, but so so sad. It's horrifying to think this happens to real girls every day. Girls and boys need books like this!!! For many teenagers, it's books that comfort them and let them know they're not alone.

GABY said...

Thank you for donating books! I think it is important every teenager read this book :)

Shari Green said...

Thanks for speaking loudly with both words and actions! :)

Books Dudes Will Read said...

Yeah, about that dad who missed the message, I'd guess his reaction came down to the same thing that motivates many censors: fear. He's likely afraid of losing his own connection to his kid. And of course you're right. That loss of communication can happen in any home. But I think a part of Melinda's parents problem is that they weren't really listening to her. And that's a message good parents should get from this book.

Library Lady said...

Thanks for bringing this to everyone's attention! I definitely believe that Speak should not be banned.

Anonymous said...

Great post and excellent idea!

Dominique said...

Great post. Thanks so much for joining the group of people speaking out about the importance of not banning this book. I don't know a single teenaged girl whose life would not be better for reading this book.

Erica M. Chapman said...

Great post! Thanks for speaking loudly! Banning Books. It's just awful and archaic. Books are meant to be read, not banned!

So generous to donate the books as well!

Thank you ;o)

Ann Marie Gamble said...

Yay for the "somebody please talk to a kid" reminder. Kids get messages in so many ways that they shouldn't talk, that their way of talking is bad, and that what they have to say is unimportant.

Amy Laurens said...

I really need to get myself a copy of this book. Thanks for your incredibly generous actions in this post. Glad my comment can contribute in some tiny way :)

ClareB said...

Whilst I haven't read the book, I got to study a film adaption of it in year 12 English.

It is such a powerful story. Although I am glad that nothing like that has ever happened to me, I think it is incredibly important that people of all ages, genders and backgrounds aware of issues such as physical and sexual abuse.

How can those of us who have not experienced this first hand understand, empathize with and help people if we don't understand what has happened?!
If we continue to hide these issues, by not speaking out we effectively condone these acts. As Erasmus Darwin said:"He who allows oppression, shares the crime"

By bringing these issues out of the shadows, we empower victims of abuse by removing the stigma that so often accompanies it.

"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing..."
- Albert Einstein

Jessica Love said...

What a great idea! I know your local schools and libraries will really appreciate these copies!

I'm talking to all of my classes about this issue...in fact, their homework tonight is to read the Scroggins article, then read LHA's response, and talk to each other on our class message board about it. I'm off to check on the discussion right now. :-)

Anonymous said...

Although a painful topic, MANY women experience similar situations. Great idea getting this book into the hands of teens where it can make a difference!

Crystal said...

I love this!

Ban Book Banning!

Healigan said...

I teach high school, and this book gives a voice to so many kids who feel like they have none-- whether or not they have experienced this exact situation. High school is tough every day for many kids. Thanks for this campaign

~*~ FSU * Librarian~*~ said...

I saw the link to this on Beth Revis' Facebook page. I think this is a fabulous thing that you guys are doing. SPEAK on!

Anonymous said...

I had never heard of this book before this SPEAK OUT campaign, if you will. I am going out right now to get this book.

Thank you for bringing awareness to this book and more important to the issues discussed in this book.

sarah s said...

I think your post is wonderful and love that you are donating copies SPEAK! I totally agree that teens should get to choose what they want to read.

Kristi Helvig said...

Awesome post and you're wonderful for donating these books. Also, we're giving away a copy of SPEAK next Tues. over at Sisters in Scribe.

janflora said...

Thank you for offering the donations! I read SPEAK a few months ago and agree that all kids (sons too!) should have access to this story. Not only is it brilliantly well-written, but it is important for teens to read and discuss.

I was thrilled when my son's 9th grade teacher put it on her list. I felt like it would stimulate important conversations between students, parents and teachers. I have not heard of any call for censorship at our school yet, but I will #SPEAKLoudly too, if there is a challenge.

Most parents, or "concerned citizens", who challenge books do not actually read them. To believe that telling your child not to read a book that their teachers and peers recommend means they will not be even more curious and eager to read it, well, that's ignorance. I would rather discuss a book with my kids, than fight with them. Keep the conversation going--that's an important lesson from SPEAK.
More people are going to read it now because of the controversy raised, and more young adults (children!) will be helped by the story. Ah, the power of the written word :)

Katy Vance said...

The greatest thing my parents ever did for me was allowing me to choose what I wanted to read. They made recommendations, never hid their reading from me, and talked to me about the tough stuff I read. As an English teacher, I LOVED watching students question their understanding of the world around them as they discovered new points of view. No one should ever tell a kid what they can and can't read. If they don't like it, they put it down. If they're not ready for it, they put it down.

Also, Speak is an important book for so many reasons. As a date rape survivor, I can say that it is essential to give survivors a place to understand what is happening and feel normal, and to give everyday people a way to understand survivors.

People who ban books for any reason should be ashamed of themselves, but more importantly, people who stand up for choice and freedom should be proud. Think for yourself and allow others to the same.

Vicki Tremper said...

Thank you for sharing what this book has meant to you. Speak makes me work harder at my writing. It touched me as a reader, too. It is one of my favorite books. Thanks for giving us another place to SPEAK OUT!

Susanna Hartigan said...

I haven't read it yet, but it must be a great book if people want to ban it.

Jennifer Hoffine said...

This is such a great idea! Thanks for doing this!