The Community That Speaks and Listens

I baked on Monday night. It was a shocking event. When my kids were little, I used to bake a lot, but as life got busy, it slipped off the priority list. But the writer’s group was coming to my house on Tuesday, and I wanted to do something nice.

Why did I make banana bread and apple brown betty (and potato salad, which does not fit in the baking example, but also takes a lot of time)? Because they are my friends. They are are my community. Because sharing food is a ritual bonding that ties one person closer to another.

I wish I could bake for all of you. Because you are my community of people who love reading and writing. Because you are defending the First Amendment and making America a better place. Banana bread for everyone! Thank you!!

As we are at the half-way point in Banned Books Week, I hope you’ll indulge me in a few more links.

Check out the Google map of Banned Books.

The New York Times Papercuts blog looked at the role that Twitter has played in responding to the Republic, MO man’s  attempt to ban Speak. News ran an editorial about the banning. And Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic mentioned it briefly a few days ago.

Risha Mullins (who endured a horrific banning episode last year in Kentucky) has posted an interview with me about my book TWISTED.

The LA Times weighs in on Banned Books Week. is fast becoming the go-to place for discussion about censorship issues. Take a peek!

Remember how I was running around like a crazy person last week? Here are a few pics from that trip.


This is Marion Lloyd of Marion Lloyd Books, a division of Scholastic UK. She is my new British publisher. What’s that she’s holding? The UK edition of Wintergirls. I believe it goes on sale in January, 2011.




Here is the only picture ever taken of me and my agent, Amy Berkower of Writer’s House. We call her Saint Amy at our house.

(note: I published my first 7 books without an agent, including Speak and Fever 1793!)



In other exciting news, we have a new dog in our life. He appeared most serendipitously and has succeeded in charming all of us, including The Creature With Fangs. More details and pictures tomorrow, I promise.

6 Replies to “The Community That Speaks and Listens”

  1. Kudos to you on baking — I’m a big fan of baking banana bread with chocolate chips in it; wonderful to smell that on a cold day!

    I’m enjoying seeing the response of all the blogging community as well — and I confess that I haven’t read Speak yet, however it’s to be arriving in my mailbox this week! I cannot wait!

  2. I’m just sorry you didn’t post the photo of you and the string bean.
    But, really, I am so very proud of you. You took the bull by the horns and threw him OUT of the ring and made the ring, really the whole arena, your own. (How I just came up with a bull-fighting metaphor is beyond me. Too much coffee? Too little coffee?)

  3. I spent a couple of weeks canning garden before this tour. Something therapeutic in it, don’t you think? Have spent much of this time discussing censorship. We keep fighting the good fight because if we don’t, they win.

  4. It’s shocking how many books are being banned. The AOL article had some really great, truth-revealing links. Thank you so much for that one especially! And obviously, you are appreciated by rape victims and almost everyone else. I can’t wait for your next book, although I’m sure it’ll be much challenged. When someone challenges your books, don’t think you did something wrong. You did something right, you made them feel something.

  5. I want to thank you for giving me a real life, modern example of book banning to share with my 7th graders. Between a booktalk of Speak, a trip to the ALA challenged books list, and a compared reading of your editorial and Wes Scroggins’ editorial my students have had mature and thoughtful discussions of censorship all week, and my challenged books cart is practically empty.

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