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"Speak" Banned Book Report

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by

Emma Krawiec

on 26 January 2016

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Transcript of "Speak" Banned Book Report

Why Would "Speak" Be Banned?
What's The Book Even
About?
In the book "Speak", by Laurie Halse Anderson, Melinda Sordino, a freshman in high school in Syracuse, New York, starts off her year as a social outcast after calling the police during a party over the summer. Melinda eventually makes a new "friend", (after being rejected by her former friends) when she meets the new girl, Heather, who uses her to gain popularity. However, Melinda doesn't care about gaining popularity, instead choosing to spend her time hiding around the school (an old janitor's closet), avoiding encounters with teachers she doesn't like and her former friends. When she starts ditching school completely, her parents take her to a guidance counselor, but she downright refuses to speak to them, or anyone, for that matter. When Melinda finally admits to herself that she was raped by senior Andy Evans, she begins to recover from the trauma of the event, finding new hobbies, such as art. She even tells her former best friend about what happened, and begins to feel more free after speaking up. When Andy corners her in her janitor's closet, she defends herself and gains respect from the school, since many other girls had suffered the same treatment from Andy but failed to speak up about it.
So, What's Wrong With It, Exactly?
Well, "Speak" was challenged and almost banned from some states for some of the more deep and mature themes it contains, such as harassment, rape, bullying, depression, and family dysfunction, since a lot of parents didn't want their young kids exposed to that.
Where Was it Challenged?
"Speak" was challenged many times in many different areas, for many different reasons. This book was challenged a few years ago (2013), by a parent in Sarasota who did not feel it was appropriate for her daughter's eighth grade class, and before then in 2010, by a professor in Missouri who thought the two rape scenes were too graphic/mature. It was also challenged around the time it first came out, by quite a few people for similar reasons.
So, Was "Speak"
Actually
Banned?
Although "Speak" was repeatedly challenged for
many
reasons, most protests proved to be futile, and you can still find it in most libraries. Even though some of the themes are a little dark (to say the least), more and more people agree with letting their kids/students read this award winning novel because it helps them extend their knowledge outside of that safe little bubble where they've been living since they learned to read. Some places (Florida, Missouri, and a few more) are still considering banning "Speak", though, but for now,you can find it on the shelves almost anywhere.
Background Information
"Speak", by Laurie Halse Anderson, is a challenged book written in 1999. This realistic fiction/drama book is repeatedly questioned for a lot of the mature themes found within, because most parents and/or teachers don't feel it is appropriate for young readers.
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