Laurie Halse Anderson’s YA novel Speak poignantly explores the immediate aftermath and emotional repercussions of sexual assault, along with the concept of consent. It is among the first young adult works to explore this reality. Speak has appeared on the American Library Association’s “Top 100 Most Banned and Challenged Books” since its publication in 1999 — climbing higher on the list each year.
There is a voracity behind the calls to remove Speak from school syllabuses and library shelves that we have not seen from many other #VelshiBannedBookClub features. Banning a book like this sends a clear message that these topics are not to be discussed. They are something that should be kept silent. Irony.
“You would think that people would find the educational system, as well as homes, the right place to talk about these things,” says Halse Anderson. “Our kids need us to have the courage to talk about things that many parents are uncomfortable with.”
Listen to the interview below:
Velshi and Halse Anderson Discuss Speak:
Velshi on banned books on MSNBC:
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