This Saturday, 25 September, marks the beginning of Banned Books Week, “an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.” Unfortunately—or perhaps fortunately, since it allows us to shine to spotlight on the ridiculousness of book banning in action—Banned Books Week is off to a banning start (pun fully intended).
Wesley Scroggins, an associate professor of management at Missouri State University and speaker at a Missouri Christian seminar, is seeking to ban Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, a novel about a girl dealing with the aftermath of a rape. Stockton, Missouri, recently banned Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian earlier this month.
Here’s the synopsis (from Barnes & Noble):
Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country.
Want to help fight the proposed ban? Read more at Anderson’s post on Jezebel, and check out these suggestions from Anderson:
You can also show your support and/or follow along on Twitter with #speakloudly.
- share your experiences with SPEAK, your own response to the book, or the way you’ve seen it work in a school setting.
- submit a letter to the editor of the News-Leader.
- write to the superintendent of the Republic School District, Dr. Vern Minor, or to the high school principal, Daren Harris.
- comment directly to Scroggins’ opinion piece.