I believe we can learn truth by reading fiction.
I believe it because people tell me it is their experience; I believe it because it is my experience.
Thus I think it is incredibly important that people who are learning how to live in the world get to read about people like themselves.
And very bad things can happen to people.
Let me be specific: I think it's incredibly important that books for teenagers about horrible subjects-rape, incest, school shootings, death- get published. And even more important that those books are available in libraries so kids can read them even if they can't afford to buy them, or don't want anyone to know they are reading them.
If I had my way, if YOU had your way, no kid would ever need to hear or see or know anything about rape, incest, school shootings, death. Not the kids we love. Not even the kids we don't.
But we live in the real world. A world we wish was different. But it's not. It is what it is.
The reason I'm talking about this today is there is a "controversery" about a book called SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson. I put "controversy" in quotes because it feels like people are using this book to make political hay, rather than actually deal with the issues the book is about.
The book is about a young woman who keeps quiet about being raped.
I wish it could be shelved in the fantasy section, but more than half of all people who are raped never report the crime.
I think it is our duty to make sure books like this are written, published, and bought. Not called "pornography" and banned.
Banning books about what real people experience in their lives makes us co-conspirators in their shame.
The reason I'm talking about this today is I read a blog post by Myra McEntire about SPEAK. I have the deepest respect for what she says, and I agree with her. Read it.
Veronica Roth's post on this subject says what I think, but a whole lot better.
CJ Redwine's post on the subject will break your heart.
Truth is not pornography. I believe that with all my heart.