I ♥ Books! And the right to read them!
This dipshit is arguing to remove Sarah Ockler’s Twenty Boy Summer and Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak from Missouri classrooms. He calls them filthy and soft-core porn and wonders how Christian men and women can expose children to such immorality!
This is completely ridiculous. And, no, I can’t be nicer about it. He’s not deeply misguided, he’s dangerously ignorant.
He wants to remove Slaughterhouse Five, too. In fact, that one’s already been removed.
I–unlike, I suspect, Mr. Scroggins–have actually read these books. They’re awesome. Twenty Boy Summer is about a girl who’s dealing with secret grief after the death of her best friend’s brother–who was also her secret boyfriend. Speak is about a girl who’s raped and rather than speak up about it, goes completely silent. Until she doesn’t. Both books are about healing and hope and the strength of these girls to deal with the terrible hands they’re dealt in the best way they can.
These are important books. They’re the kind that help real kids. Girls who have dealt with rape or abuse or death can see themselves reflected in these pages. There’s a video on Laurie Halse Anderson’s blog about the responses she’s gotten from readers. It made me cry.
I was really lucky as a teen. I was happy and healthy. All I had to deal with was my dad’s remarriage and some unrequited crushes. Not everyone is that lucky. But books like these–they are important for kids like I was, too. So we can be reminded that everyone has a story, and some might be difficult, and it’s important to reach out and listen and not judge without thinking.
I just…book banning completely baffles me. You don’t want your child to read a book? Okay. I respect that. But how on earth do you have the presumption to suggest what other people’s children can and can’t read? I can’t respect that. I hope that when I have kids, I’ll let them read freely (as I did) and discuss books with them.
Mostly, I just hope I have kids who love books.
Anyway. I’ll put my money where my mouth is. I’ve already hung up a Banned Books Week poster at my office and sent this info to my bestie, who teaches high school English, so she can discuss with her students. Now who wants a copy of Speak? Or Twenty Boy Summer? Comment below for a chance to win. I’ll pick two winners, one for each book, on Friday at noon.