We're approaching Banned Book Week and by now I think everyone and their grandmother has heard about Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson being challenged. Get the full story on Anderson's blog here.
I'm not going to rant about how horrible I think book banning is, because it will just get me worked up, and I don't want to yell at a computer screen, that's not productive. And I don't have a story about how Speak helped me. My childhood and adolescence are thankfully free of horrors like that which Melinda went through.
This blog post is about giving thanks.
First, to the writing community, for being so vocal and open and jumping right to the aid of a very powerful novel that has helped and will continue to help so many people.
Second, I have so much appreciation for my parents, who never restricted my reading material, and who always encouraged me to read. What I've read and how I've chosen for myself what to read has helped shape the person and the writer I am today.
And third, I'm so very thankful that my high school library had a wide selection, and to my knowledge, no one ever tried to remove books from the learning curriculum or the shelves. Even some books I couldn't beleive they'd carry in a school. But those were the ones that really got us talking. Those were the books my friends and I checked out and passed from person to person, then we'd discuss the characters and events during our lunch breaks. Those were the books that got us reading, and kept us reading.
So thank you. I feel so lucky that I had the chance to read these books, so lucky that I had the choice.