Monday 20 September 2010

Giveaway: Speak - Laurie Halse Anderson - NOW CLOSED

*UPDATE - THIS GIVEAWAY HAS NOW ENDED - Winner announced here*

I'd still love to read your opinions on this issue though so feel free to comment!

I'm sure most of you have seen the buzz about the article written by Dr. Scroggins where he likens a rape scene in Speak to pornography.  He wants to see this book (alongside several others) banned from school libraries because he doesn't believe the content is appropriate for young adults.

While I don't claim to be an expert on this subject and have never read the book (I have ordered my copy though & will be reading it as soon as it arrives!) I am totally disgusted that someone can liken rape to pornography.  To make that kind of comparison is just sick!  We all might like to bury our heads in the sand and pretend that nothing bad ever happens but that isn't the case - bad things happen all the time.  Although rape is a difficult subject to talk about that is precisely why it needs to be brought to people's attention.

I respect that parents have a right to have a say in what their children read but it is important that people have access to information on topics like sex, rape and abuse.  Being ignorant of these issues isn't going to help anyone - we need to be aware of the things that happen both to try and prevent it but also to help us deal with the aftermath when something like this occurs.  I can't imagine being a rape victim - it must be a horrific experience - but victims have a right to be heard.  If a book like Speak helps just a tiny proportion of victims to deal with what happened to them then that has to be a good thing. 

There is nothing I can say really say that hasn't already been said on the blogosphere but I feel so strongly about this issue that I had to say something.  Dr. Scroggins has a right to voice his opinion but I don't want to live in a world where his voice is the loudest - a world where I don't speak out against what he has said.  Laurie has written a post about this on her blog here and you can also watch her read a poem that was written using reader responses to Speak below.  Both the video and this fantastic post by author C.J. Redwine moved me to tears.

Giveaway Details:
If you're like me and haven't yet read Speak I want to give you the opportunity to win a copy.  I'm keeping this giveaway really simple so it is easy for everyone to join in:
  • I will be ordering the winner a copy of Speak from the Book Depository so the giveaway is international as long as Book Depository delivers to you (check here to make sure this applies to you)
  • To enter all you have to do is leave a comment on this post with your opinion on this topic.
  • For extra entries post about this topic anywhere (Twitter, Facebook, your Blog - anywhere you like) and leave your link in a separate comment.  You can get an extra comment for each place you post (Only 1 extra entry per place for example 1 twitter comment & 1 blog post)
  • You don't have to be a blog follower to enter but of course all followers are appreciated!
  • The giveaway will be open until 30th September.
  • The winner will be chosen at random and announced on my blog - the winner will have 48 hours to contact me with their address and if I don't hear from you within that time a new winner will be chosen.


  1. I think Speak is really important to young adults because literature and stories can deliver messages in ways that other mediums can't. I've read Speak-in my early teens- and I was very happy that I did.

    It really enlightened me to what can and has happened in the world and rather than letting our children be mollycoddled from sensitive subjects they should be exposed to them.

    People like Scroggins are ignorant.


  2. I think that rape is totally NOT the same thing as pornography, and should not be portrayed as the same thing. As an avid reader/teenager I think that it's important to read these subjects in young adult fiction books because there might not be an adult to explain these issues to you, but in a book it can show you with the same-age point of view and such.

    sophiayunjin @ gmail . com

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I still can't believe someone actually thinks rape is pornography. How sick is that!?


  5. That guy is so weird that he thinks that Lauren writes porn. :( Bann him!

    I would love to get a chance to win the book.

    Old follower

  6. Some people are very narrow-minded or find discomfort in subject matter they cannot wrap their minds around. I'm not sure if this is the case, but I'd certainly love to read the book and decide for myself. :)

    I'm going to do a Tweet of your contest. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I’ve been thinking about this issue a lot and my opinion is a little shattered. Saying that a rape scene in a book is like pornography is a very strong statement. I’m almost hesitant to give an opinion without first reading the book. However, since you asked, I’ll give you my convoluted thoughts.

    Rape and pornography are not the same thing. However, rape can be used in pornography. Although, one would like to believe that rape in pornography is staged, making it nothing like the horror of a true rape.

    Another use of rape in pornography is the extremely disgusting practice of child porn. Any touching of a child by an adult in a sexual manner is rape. And from what I’ve seen on the news lately child pornography is disturbingly common.

    As for having this book removed from school libraries, without reading it, I can say that I don’t agree. Rather the topic is rape or pornography, these issues have a place in literature. Through art we express what we’re feeling and explore the world around us. Sadly, rape and pornography are part of the world. These things shouldn’t be hidden from young adults. If handled properly by the author, a book about either of these topics could be useful to a young reader attempting to understand the evils of the world around them.

    A child who is sheltered from the evils in the world can never truly be prepared to enter the world as an adult. Expecting no evil, they would enter the world vulnerable to someone who could want to hurt them.

    ellen_r_hudson @ yahoo . ca

  8. My tweet:

    ellen_r_hudson @ yahoo . ca

  9. Leave it to a narrow-minded man to think that rape is the same as pornography. Though I have never read Speak I have seen the movie many times and have been aware of this book for many years. I think that young adults especially young women should be able to read about the reality of rape. It happens, and we shouldn't act as if it doesn't. Some are not able to speak about their encounters with others but are able to see what the character in Speak does and this could possibly help them cope. Why ban books from school libraries that could be benifical to young women but not try and ban some of the programming that is on television or online. I feel strongly that Speak should be in ALL school libraries!

  10. 'Speak' seems interesting.


  11. I don't believe in book banning. I think parents should take responsibility and be aware of what their children and teenagers are reading and make sure it is age appropriate. I also think that books like Speak can lead to great discussions with teenagers, opening the doors to topics they may not usually talk about. When you are talking about fictional characters it may be easier for them to express some of their own feelings. So I believe that books like Speak should remain in libraries and available to anyone who wants to read them.


  12. I can not believe that such things happen, this guy must really be sick! I already joined the campaign through Twitter and Facebook and I hope the book isn´t banned.

    Thanks for the giveaway.


  13. Thanks to everyone who has entered the giveaway so far for your thoughtful comments & for helping to spread the word!

    @ Kulsuma - I think you're right & that it is important that young adults can learn about topics like this in a situation where they have someone who they can talk to an ask questions.

    @ Sophia - I totally agree that rape and pornography are not the same thing. I don't see how anyone can compare the 2! It's a good point that reading about things like this in a young adult gives teens a point of view from someone a similar age to them. I expect that is especially important for anyone who has suffered from rape or abuse.

    @ sRy - Some people don't seem to want to accept that bad things happen in real life. It is much better to prepare teens so that they know what can happen in real life (although hopefully they will never have to experience rape it will help them to deal with things if they find themselves in a similar situation).

    @ Gaby - It's completely sick isn't it! I was so angry when I read that article I wanted to scream!

    @ Nina - LMAO about banning him! I think it's so funny that the books he wanted to see banned are now being read by even more people just because of his article. Serves him right LOL :o)

    @ J.A Saare - Like you after reading the article I wanted to read the book myself & ordered a copy straight away. It actually arrived today so I'm planning on reading it over the weekend :o) Thanks for tweeting the giveaway!

    @ Blackest_Night_Reads - I completely agree that child pornography is a form of rape. I don't think any normal person would look at a rape scene & see it as pornography though, there has to be something wrong with people who think it is (well that's my opinion anyway LOL). You're right that children who are too sheltered are going to be vulnerable to people who may want to hurt them. I respect that every parent has a right to decide what is right for their own child - it's when people want to ban a book from schools or libraries so that nobody else gets a chance to read it that I have a problem. We all have the right to choose for ourselves what we want to read and books like Speak are a lifeline to some teenagers who don't feel they have anywhere else to turn.

    @ Danielle - I've not read the book or seen the film but my copy arrived today so I'll be reading it over the weekend. I'd be interested to see the film too - I'll have to see if I can get hold of a copy of that too :o) I agree that Speak & books like it should be available in all schools and libraries. Some teens who are effected by this issue will never have a chance to read and benefit from it otherwise. It horrifies me that a narrow minded man wants to ban something that has help so many (and will hopefully help many more in the future)

    @ Crystal - I don't have children yet but I was talking to my friend about this article the other day & we were both in agreement over how important it is to know what your children are reading. Not to stop them reading about issues like this but so you can discuss it with them afterwards & answer any questions they may have.

    @ The Itzel Library - I completely agree :o) Thanks for helping spread the word about this!

    The giveaway is still open until 30th September & I'd love to hear everyone's opinions on this. I'll be reading the book over the weekend and will get my review posted asap!

  14. I agree with the author and person who thinks that rape is pornography discuss me.

  15. It is my belief that is should be the responsibility of parents and individuals to make the choices on what is read (parents when the child is young, but once you are a teen you know what is appropriate for you). If someone wants to read something they should be allowed to. If other's think its something they should read, they can suggest it, if people think something shouldn't be read, they can suggest not reading. Leave the decision to the individual though.

    jlynettes at hotmail dot com

  16. I haven't read the book, but from what I've read about it it isn't pornographic at all. I see no reason to ban the book because I don't think it's helpful to pretend that these things never happen.

  17. Pornography can include rape scenes, but there's a big difference between writing "rape fantasy" and writing a genuine, realistic rape scene. Clearly this book has the latter.

    I hate the very idea of banning books. I also think that kids should be exposed in fiction to issues which might one day affect them in real life. For example, I've never personally been sexually assaulted, but I feel that through reading about sexual violence (in both fiction and non-fiction) I can better understand people I know who have.

    My email's

  18. what kind of sick bastard would liken rape to pornography? there's gotta be something seriously wrong with that man.....

    k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

  19. How can you compare rape to pornography? Compare a book that has touched and changed so many lives to something can't even think of a word, I'm so angry!!!

  20. Thanks for the giveaway! I know about the disgusting nature of these unjust censorships...rape is porn, since when? :S

    cc932005 at hotmail dot com

  21. Book banning is never right, but I think it's disgusting that someone can actually stand up and announce to the world that rape is porn, then actually live with himself after that.

  22. @ Ani - thanks for commenting, I completely agree!

    @ sablelexi - I agree that parents have the right to choose what their children read, it's all about choice for the individuals & nobody has the right to tell me what I can & can't read LOL :o)

    @ ikkinlala - now I've read the book I can state for a fact that it definitely isn't pornographic. Even if you could consider rape to be porn (which I don't think many people do) there is no detailed description in the book

    @ Lanta - great comment & I couldn't agree more with what you've said :o)

    @ k_sunshine1977 - I think you're right LOL

    @ Melissa - This issue made me really angry too, I'm glad I'm not the only one!

    @ Cass - I hate the way people try to ban books, if they don't want to read something fine don't buy it. Just don't think that gives you the right to tell me I can't read it too LOL

    @ Bella - You're right that banning books isn't the answer & I'd hate to be the guy who kicked off all the controversy by talking rubbish!

  23. I think that it is incredibly important to allow young people to read about topics such as rape. Unfortunately people do go through horrific experiences such as this and anything that can help them to deal with it can only be a good thing as far as I am concerned.

    And to compare rape to pornography is just wrong. This is a book that has the ability to change lives - it is not pornography!

    chrissiescorner at live dot co dot uk

  24. How anyone can believe that rape is porn is just beyond me. I don't believe in banning books at all. If you find a topic uncomfortable or not to your liking, well, the simple don't read it. There are plenty of books out there to choose from.


  25. I honestly think this is wrong on SO MANY levels. Who is this guy to try and judge Speak when it has helped so many people people with its' story?!

    Banning books should be banned!

  26. I would love to read this book I think it's wrong to make books banned.


  27. +1 twitter:


  28. +1 facebook:


  29. +1 myspace:


  30. THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED - Thank you all for your thoughtful comments & for entering :o) I'll be announcing the winner in the next few minutes & then will catch up with replying to all the giveaway comments :o)

  31. Sorry it's taken me a while to get back here to catch up with all your comments, I've had a crazy busy few days!

    @ Chrissie - What you said is so true. I wish we lived in a world where things like rape didn't happen but unfortunately they do & not talking about them isn't going to stop it happening. We need to teach teens that the shame belongs to the person who commits the crime - not the innocent victim

    @ heatwave16 - I agree completely that book banning shouldn't happen. I have the right to chose what I want to read but not to make that decision for anyone else :o)

    @ Iffath - That makes a good campain slogan LOL. I'm so glad we don't really have a problem with people wanting books banned here in the UK!

    @ Mysteriousrose - I agree :o) Thanks so much for spreading the word!



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