A guy named Richard Swier in Florida thinks that SPEAK is “child pornography.”
I wish I were making that up.
SPEAK is cautionary tale about the emotional aftermath of rape. It tackles bullying, depression, rape, sexual harassment, and family dysfunction. It teaches children that when bad things happen, they need to speak up, even when it’s hard. It has given hope to tens of thousands of readers since 1999. It is a standard in curriculum across the country.
Swier’s quest would be laughable except that there are a couple of uninformed people who think that he knows what he’s talking about. Since he has picked apart my work, let me return the favor.
We’ve had a Barred Owl hooting in the Forest this week.
I prefer to call it a Bard Owl and imagine that it is composing sonnets.
Sheila May-Stein, the new librarian at Pittsburgh’s Manchester PreK-8 school, was horrified to learn that her library had a grand total of 40 useable fiction books. She is using the power of social media to make sure that her students have the number and kinds of books that they deserve. I’m putting a box of books for them in the mail tomorrow. If you want to donate, send the books to Sheila May-Stein, Library, Pittsburgh Manchester PreK-8, 1612 Manhattan St., Pittsburgh, PA 15233. Even easier, you can order books to be sent directly to the school via Sheila’s Amazon Wish List. A longer blog post gives more information.
You guys know that I have a very good relationship with my first husband, Greg. He runs a software company that makes patient management software for pediatricians. As part of his company’s charitable mission, Greg coordinates free health clinics in Jamaica, bringing down doctors, nurses, and medicine, and working with local medical teams to take these resources to where they are most needed on the island. Greg made this brief video about this year’s trip that I thought you might enjoy. We’re all very proud of him and the good work that he does.
The weather has cooled down nicely up here. Our wood for the winter arrives on Monday and its a darn good thing; we’re going to need fires in the woodstove to take the chill out of the air very soon.
Banned Books Week is almost upon us. What will you be doing to recognize it this year?
Bookmans, an independent bookstore with six locations in Arizona, created this video for the 2012 Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out.
I have not heard any banning attempts on any of my books so far this school year. Have the censors moved on to other targets? Even though Speak was restored to the shelves of the high school in Liberty, MO, Slaughterhouse-Five was not.
This PSA aired after the first showing of Kristen in the Speak movie. The hotline had never gotten such a tremendous response. Blew. Up. The. Phones.
Someone sent me a link to a recent interview in which she said that the response to both the movie and the PSA helped her see the impact that film can have in people’s lives. The embed code for the video is screwed up, but you should be able to see it on The Hollywood Reporter site. She talks about Speak starting at about the 3:40 mark. She was so, so young when she made the movie, but her talent was undeniable. It’s been fun to watch her develop as an actress. (Though when the press hounds her, I get really defensive and want to start yelling at people!)