Thursday, September 30, 2010


Today's New York Times has a full page ad from Penguin books that promotes the book Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson.   This powerful story about a teenage rape and the depression, loneliness and ostracism that ensue was given to me by a patient a few years ago.  It was eye-opening then and remains a powerful read for people of any age still to this day.

However, in Missouri, some people think differently. In particular, a Missouri State University professor supposedly has called for a ban on this book in schools.  Bizarrely enough, he equates the rape  with "soft pornography" and has invoked Christian values to support his idea.  The blogoshpere is active with writing about book banning and the attempt to silence the conversation about adolescent rape.

On their website,, Penguin books promotes not only Speak but freedom of speech and of the press in general.  According to the blogs, this book has been instrumental in helping many women--some well past their teens-- come forward with their stories of rape and silence.  Having a conversation about this story in class, at home and in doctors' offices can go a long way to bringing sex crimes out of  the darkness and  increasing understanding and compassion for its victims.

1 comment:

  1. Speak is a good place where important awakening messages are found about the dangers of society and how we should be aware of it to make sure it doesn't happen to ourselves. Surely we have to respect the ideas of others that books with these topics are rated but there's a bit of unfairness in it to withhold information that could be of use to society.