I found out this morning that Laurie Halse Anderson's Printz-honor award winning novel Speak, which has touched over 10 years of readers in many countries, been challenged a week before Banned Book Week begins in the United States. On her blog readers will find a video of Laurie reading the poem, "Listen", written in response to "tens of thousands of letters" from readers and partially composed from those readers. This is a very powerful video, one that evokes a very emotional response. This is not surprising, certainly, given the depth of feeling expressed in the letters from the book's fans, but it shouldn't be overlooked at the present time. There is also a link to the original in which a man considers the two rape scenes in this amazing book as "soft core pornography".
Speak has been taught in Alberta high schools, may be found at
Calgary Public Library (most of the copies are checked out right now) and remains one of the most relevant and realistic portrayals of teenage abuse, trauma and empowerment.