Sunday, September 19, 2010


Okay, I’m saying this now. I’m incredibly pissed. As a HUGE fan of Laurie Halse Anderson and a high school student, I was ANGERED at this post by a HEROUNDEOUS MAN. I was shocked and appalled at this. I read some of his article, but I just about threw my laptop away SO I didn’t finish it. I’m sorry if that’s wrong but I just COULDN’T DO IT!

And seriously dude, I don’t need you to tell me what I should read and shouldn’t read. Leave that up to my parents. THAT’S THEIR JOB NOT YOURS!

Laurie is one of the best realistic authors that I know. She’s not afraid to write about the REAL things. Like her book Wintergirls. That book was so intense, it scared me. There were so many times that I stopped reading that book. The times she cut herself, didn’t eat, her thoughts. I think the big reason for this was because I know friends who are anorexic and bulimic but I’ve never really gone into depth about it. In school they tell us the affect and make us watch videos. No one really gets in our faces and tells us what it really is like. Well Mrs. Anderson did just that. She went out and told the truth. The REAL truth. How life really is. So who the hell are you, Mr. Scroggins, to say that this book is “filthy and immoral.”? Have you been to a high school lately? You should go. I think you’ll be VERY surprised as to what you find.

I’m a high school sophomore and believe me; I’ve seen my share of these things. I’ve even heard of girls who’ve gotten raped. IT’S NOT THEIR FAULT. It’s not like they went out and asked the get raped. Damn it, one of the girl’s was raped by her boyfriend. Now, tell me HOW WAS THAT HER FAULT?

What kind of sicko refers to rape as 'softcore pornography.'? No, I’m not kidding, I really want to know. Reading this, it made my inside turn. Worst of all, I had just had a really yummy lunch that I wanted to throw up. Yes, rape is immoral and all but it is NOT 'softcore pornography.' And as for that matter, who the hell are you to know what 'softcore pornography' and rape is anyways?

After reading the synopsis for the first time, I looked at the title: SPEAK. One word. You know the saying “Actions speak louder than words.”? See notice the SPEAK in the sentence. I realized that this book wasn’t just for us readers. It was for all those girls out there (believe me, there are a lot of rape victims) who had gone through all of this. What Melinda was going through. I think Laurie was trying to tell them that it wasn’t their fault. It told them to talk about it. SPEAK up. Don’t hide because you don’t have to be scared anymore. Melinda, in the story, comes out and tells her story and I felt that it was truly amazing of her. It’s really sad though. Most rapes go unreported and so the real person at fault doesn’t pay for it. The victim does. Every day, every night of her (or his) life. I’ve spoken to a girl who’s been raped before. She told me that this is one of those memories “That will be etched in my heart and soul forever. I’ll never be able to forget it. No matter how much it hurts.” That by the way is an actual quote. When someone tells you something like that, it’s likely that you won’t forget it.

Banning this book would be a really bad thing. You wanna know something? Last year, at the beginning of school, I went to my library to check out SPEAK. Did I get it? No, I didn’t. Why? Because it was already checked out. And every time I went back, it wouldn’t be there. “It’s been checked out.” Was what the librarian told me. I hadn’t really thought of placing a request for it so I didn’t. And that was why I didn’t get to read SPEAK for my 9th grade. That has to tell you something. NOT only had many of my friends read and LOVED this book, so had the librarians. They told me I just had to read it. And why not? It really is a great book. So banning it is going to take the awareness out of rape. More victims need to report these things but they can’t if they don’t have some help. I believe that reading this book would help them, you know? SPEAK is not simply words on paper that is printed in the form of a novel. SPEAK is a message to all the girls. Actually, no, it’s to everyone. HAVE YOU HEARD HER POEM ON SPEAK? Laurie’s really reached out to people and I almost cried reading this. Not only that but I heard some time ago that the girl who got raped and whose quote I used earlier had committed suicide. In her letter, she said that she had had enough and she couldn’t go on living like this. Her parents and family and friends were devastated. Afterwards, we all found out that her rapist was an extended family member. Now how much do you think that hurt? 

I would so love to know why this guy is angry at Laurie for writing about rape in teenagers lives BUT NOT AT THE FACT THAT TEENAGERS ARE GETTING RAPED! Do you not know that teens are having sex (please not I didn't say ALL TEENS, I just said teens). Girls are getting pregnant, even in the 8th grade or YOUNGER? Why aren't you talking about that? Why is it that one author writes such a great book and then you just have to say that it's pron? Mr. Scroggins, let me tell you this. I see more and more pregnant girls at my school every week. I hear more about sex and drugs and drinking. What about that?

*EDIT*And I don't think I really talked about eating disorders, family problems, teenage drinking, and attending parties. As mention above, I'm a sophomore in high school. A few days ago, I leaned that a FRESHMEN in my class drinks. Yeah, like beer and stuff. I asked him why he does it and all he did was shrug. Now I was shocked because he just looked so...calm an put together. He's also  VERY SMART kid and I hated not being able to do anything but sit there and watch him. Who knows what happens at his house? None of us know EXACTLY why a 14 year old drinks. Only he does. Books like SPEAK help kids like him SPEAK OUT!

Then there's this girl in my class and we were talking about therapists and she mentioned that she went to see one. I didn't believe her so I asked her if she really went. She said yes. I asked why, and she said family problems. That's not to bad, your thinking. But it was. It was horrible. Why? Because of the look in her eyes. She looked shattered, sad, depressed. She is one of the most energetic people I know. She's alway laughing or smiling. How could she be so sad? Then I began to wonder if maybe her happy, smiling face was just for show? So people wouldn't know what really goes on in her life. Or maybe being at school and with her friends is where she is really happy? I don't know any more than this but I'm just guessing. Books like SPEAK help kids like her SPEAK OUT!

He also talked about how Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler having strip beer pong and safe sex and drinking at parties. Ok, I'm a teenager, so let me enlighten all of you people: THIS DOES HAPPEN TO TEENS. TEENS TO PLAY STRIP BEER PONG AND HAVE SAFE SEX AND DRINK AT PARTIES! OH, AND TEENS DO DRUGS AND ARE IN GANGS AND SMOKE. Go that now? Okay, good! This book is about GRIEF. It's about moving on and finding yourself and knowing who you are and who you want to be. I loved this book a lot. Sarah was able to incorporate a teen's heartbreak in such a powerful, well written novel and I applaud her for that. 

Eating disorders are also a HUGE part of our society today! I know many girls who are bulimic and anorexic and it's just plain sad. Many girls are influence by all the super skinny "hot" models that all the guys fawn over. Every girl wants a guy to like her so if that's what it take, why not? But it's wrong and destructive and some girls just don't understand that. Then there are the girl who do understand and want to stop...but they can. So if a book like SPEAK is going to help them, WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO TAKE THAT AWAY FROM THEM? A girl I knew was in band class when she just fell over. I don't remember what it was but "anorexic" came up a lot. She really was skinny and pale but I'd never thought of that. 

*sigh* I think I'm done for now.

HERE is Laurie's take on all of this. So support her guys! 

Here is Laurie reading her poem LISTEN:

Here are some other blog posts I've found about this:
And go one Twitter use the #SpeakLoudly Hash tag to support Laurie @halseanderson 

For those of you who are interested THIS is the post we're all so upset (pissed off...use anything!) 


  1. Thanks for speaking out! It's interesting and enlightening to get a high school student's opinion on the subject. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. Thanks for continuing the conversation about the importance of this book on your blog. I am teaching this book right now and find it disturbing that anyone would see it as pornographic.

    Here are my thoughts in more depth:


  3. Thank you for contributing!! all of our words together mean everything

  4. A lot of people are talking about this today. It's all over the boards on twitter and I have never seen something get so much attention! I need to go and read the full article, but the part I read made me so mad I had to stop reading before I started screaming.
    This book wasn't out when I was in school, but if it had been it would have helped me immensely. I was raped and it haunts me to this very day, 17 years later. It affects my marriage, how I deal with my kids, how I function in everyday life. And you know how much I talked about it when it happened? NONE. I didn't tell a soul. It wasn't until years later that I spilled all to my bff. By then I was a drug addict struggling to hang onto life. Once I let it out it was like this HUGE weight came off my shoulders. The thing that bothers me is that guy will never be punished (other then karma) but I will never know if MY silence may have caused another girls harm.
    BTW, I've been clean for 10 years and have a wonderful husband and healthy children. I will never do drugs again!