Last week I blogged about Wesley Scroggins editorial in which he called for the removal of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, “a book called Slaughterhouse Five” (’cause, yanno, you might not have heard of this Kurt Vonnegut guy) and Sarah Ockler’s Twenty Boy Summer from the schools and curriculum in his local schools. An editor’s note reported that superintendent of the Republic said that Twenty Boy Summer was under review, while Slaughterhouse Fivehad been removed from the curriculum.
I explained in my previous post why I think Ockler’s book is so amazing. Scroggins at best grossly misinterpreted it and, at worst, is purposefully misrepresenting it. Either way, we fellow Debs took this attack personally. But, organized by Saundra Mitchell, we are taking the high ground and we’re giving readers a chance to decide for themselves what they think about Sarah’s book. Debs Speak Loudly is a chance for you to win one of 100 copies of Twenty Boy Summer donated by us and Sarah’s publisher, Little Brown. So head over to the post and leave a comment — it’s as easy as that to enter!
Others who follow Laurie Halse Anderson’s blog will have read with dismay about the man in Missouri who equated her book, Speak, about a girl who is raped, with pornography. I am sure I cannot say as well as Laurie’s fans the power and impact of this book. She collected the responses into a poem which you can see her reading here:
In addition to attacking Speak and classic Slaughterhouse Five (which he introduces as though his readers may not have heard of it), Scroggins sees fit to call filthy one of the more powerful books I read last year: Sarah Ockler’s Twenty Boy Summer. Ockler’s debut novel tells the story of Anna, who was secretly having a relationship with her best friend Anna’s older brother, Matt. After Matt dies, she is stricken with grief, but can’t speak about the depth of her pain. It is poignant and powerful, a thoughtful examination of grief and friendship. In his description, Scroggins gets some of the events right, but when he claims the book “glorifies” some of the things that go on — well, clearly he needs to learn how to read for nuance and tone.
Please support Laurie and Sarah. Please share your experiences as Laurie has asked. Let’s make our voices stronger than those who would silence us.