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19 September 2010 @ 01:55 pm
What a difference a day makes...SPEAK  
Just 24 hours ago, I was in the middlE of a room with 18 grad students who want to become school librarians. We were reviewing the reading list for YA literature. First in the list is Sherman Alexie's Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian. I began my talk about the book by noting that it was recently the target of censorship. I went on to do my book talk and students who had read the book already commented on the fact that they just couldn't understand why the book had been challenged. Next book on my required list was Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. She is one of the featured speakers at our book conference in November and I encouraged students to attend by cutting two required assignments if they attended and reported back about the conference. I did my booktalkabout Speak, mentioned Forge (Laurie's newest book) and moved on. By the time I was done with class for the day and had returned to my hotel room for the evening, I saw the incredibly mean article by Dr. Scroggins in which he indicts Speak for being nothing more than soft pornography. I sent an email to all my students and gave them the link and told them they should ask Laurie about here feelings about people who have apparently not read here books attacking them in such misleading ways.

Now, I am home and getting ready to go online and order some copies of Speak(let's see if we can get it to trend) to donate to teachers in the schools being affected.

What else can we do? Add your voice to the fight against censorship. Join NCAC, the National Coalition against Censorhsip. Send donations to the ACLU and other organizations such as the Freedom to Read Foundation. For those NCTE members, come to the programs sponsored by the Standing Committee against Censorship at the Orlando conference. Buy copies of the banned books and donate them to libraries and schools. Tweet using the hash tag #speakloudly. Give the link to the article on Facebook and your blogs. Encourage folks to leave comments.

See Laurie's blog for more details @ www.madwomanintheforest.com

Speak up for Speak. We must always stand up against censorship lest we all be silenced.
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