What a way to start the month. First, John Green's Looking for Alaska is under fire for being "pornographic."While reading the posts and comments on Laurie's blog, I learned that Sledding Hill by Chris Crutcher (an oft-challenged writer) is about censorship. Some of us may want to add that book to our reading lists. Since I've already reviewed Speak on my blog, I am posting it here as well.
And now, some parents are going after Speak. The teacher involved has asked me not to name the school because she wants the process and policies of the district to unfold away from the glare of any spotlights. I respect that. I am allowed to say that it's a middle school in suburban Detroit. For the record, this has also happened in New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Washington, New York, Maine, and California. (As a result of the challenges, the book was embraced, not banned. Which does make an author feel good and a teacher feel even better.)
I sent her a note with teen sexual assault statistics and shared the feedback I've had from readers and their parents, who are grateful for a story that allows them to broach a difficult subject.
This teacher could use some professional support. If you teach Speak, can you please leave a note in the comments section for her? Tell her why you use the book. Tell her about your classroom experiences and your professional opinion about the place of the book in the curriculum. Or just give her a pat on the back. If you are a teen, tell her what the book meant to you.
Thank you very much and spread the word.
Note to Laurie Halse Anderson: I'm spreading the word just as far as I can shout it, not only here, but also on my Bonnie's Books blog.
Note to my readers: You may be interested in ALL of Laurie's posts about censorship, which you can find if you click here.
Another note: AS IF = Authors Support Intellectual Freedom = another place for us to discover titles of banned and challenged books.