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Drama > Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

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message 1: by Rita, Busy Bee (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) | 351 comments Mod
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak has made quite the splash in the news lately. It's a book about rape, encouraging girls to speak up when this has happened to them, but some people claim it is "light porn".

What do you think? Have you read the book? Should the book be banned?


message 2: by Kyle, The Damned Yankee (new)

Kyle Borland (kgborland) | 41 comments Mod
I haven't read it but I have heard great things. I just reserved the copy of it at my local library.

On the topic of banning, though I haven't read it, I don't think any book should be banned and I find it strange that any book can be banned since we have the 1st amendment in the Bill of Rights...


message 3: by S.M. (new)

S.M. Carrière (smcarriere) | 43 comments I agree Kyle. No book should be banned.


message 4: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) | 6 comments I thought the book was great! I wouldn't ban any book...but I'm also not sure I'd, personally, be able to use it in a classroom. But many teachers have.


message 5: by Rita, Busy Bee (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) | 351 comments Mod
Bernadette, are you a teacher? Grade shool or high school?

I think Speak would be a great book to discuss in a classroom. Good for both male and female students to understand what rape is all about. It's good for girls to know that it's okay to speak up if this happens to them.

It's good for boys to understand what girls go through. Some day, these boys will be men with wives who may have been abused or with daughters that need to be protected.

I don't believe in banning any book, but this book in particular makes me so angry when I hear about people wanting to ban it. This is an important book to educate our young people on a topic that all young people face, whether personally or in watching a friend deal with it.


message 6: by S.M. (new)

S.M. Carrière (smcarriere) | 43 comments Well said, Rita.


message 7: by Kyle, The Damned Yankee (new)

Kyle Borland (kgborland) | 41 comments Mod
I think any book can be talked about in class. The schools are trying to keep things from the kids, to corrupt us less, but we already know. We need a place to talk about it and where better than school? Books like Speak, 13 Reasons Why and even fantasy books are great for analyzing.

The classics are great to an extent but I think its time schools moved toward more contemporary authors and novels in order to 1. Make literature more appealing to students and 2. Make what we're reading more current to today.

Hope that made sense...


message 8: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 61 comments Wow, your school teaches classic stories? You're lucky because you can get help to understand and appreciate them. Many of the schools I know have abandoned the classics in favor of modern and multi-cultural stories.
I wonder how many of kids from these schools will actually pick up the classics on their own.


message 9: by Kyle, The Damned Yankee (new)

Kyle Borland (kgborland) | 41 comments Mod
We read nothing but classics. We just finished Othello, Macbeth, Beowulf. We've read Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Dr. Zhivago, Emma, A Thousand Splendid Suns (not really a classic but its AMAZING!), Frankenstein. That's just so far. We have 4 weeks left.


message 10: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 61 comments I was just looking at a flyer for the Pacific Northwest Writers' Conference that took place here in Seattle last summer. The name of the conference was "Inspired By The Classics".

I can see why you might be wishing for a little relief. You have covered a lot (maybe too much) in a short time. Were you able to read all of those and discuss them in class?

Is the class a regular high school English class or is it an elective for advanced students? Does it have a title other than English 12?

You might feel crammed with classics but you will be glad you know them. So many your age do not. And the classics contain the plots that are too good to forget and often richer deeper characters than what you'll find in the modern thrillers.

Have you read The Red and the Black? Well, it's very naughty -- a French classic. Nope, better wait until you're a bit older. It might give you naughty ideas. ;-)


message 11: by Rita, Busy Bee (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) | 351 comments Mod
Jeanne wrote: "Have you read The Red and the Black? Well, it's very naughty -- a French classic. Nope, better wait until you're a bit older. It might give you naughty ideas. ;-) "

Now there's a challenge if I ever heard one. Did you intend for a 17 year old of the male species to be able to resist that? Or are you slyer than I expected?

So is this the book The Red and the Black? Would you be able to write a review for me? I would include it on our blog.


message 12: by Kyle, The Damned Yankee (new)

Kyle Borland (kgborland) | 41 comments Mod
Haha, I'll have to check that book out sometime. Naughty doesn't really phase me since I read mostly adult-oriented books and pretty much nothing surprises me anymore.

I do feel a little crammed with classics and we actually do discuss a lot of those books. We don't take time to read them in class, we only discuss in class and don't do much else but take a test. A lot of those were read of the summer so it really hasn't been TOO bad but after a while all I want to do it pick up Harry Potter :P

Speaking of Harry Potter...my dog came into my room while i was in the living room and ate part of the binding on Deathly Hallows that was sitting on my nightstand (I'm re-reading it for the movie)...I'm saddened right now D:


message 13: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 61 comments Here's a goodreads review
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

by David Agraz

(You're still seventeen, Kyle? When is your birthday?)

Also, if you look in the reviews for The Red and the Black, there's a charming story about it, written by Manny.

Rita, I read TRATB when I was in my twenties. I would have to read it again in order to review it. I would love to read it again, but right now I'm busy with other readings, writings, editings.


message 14: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 61 comments Oops, Kyle is seventeen. Does writing about naughty stories break any corrupting-youth laws?

(Rita -- -- yes, sly. But Kyle won't read it if he's too tired of the old fashioned language in classic stories.)


message 15: by Kyle, The Damned Yankee (new)

Kyle Borland (kgborland) | 41 comments Mod
It would be hard to corrupt me any farther than I already am ;)

Jeanne has a point though, I'm exhausted when it comes to classics right now. You know how you go through lots of ONE kind of book and then you need a new genre? Thats kind of where I'm at. I think the classics are great but in masse...they become a hastle at times.

My birthday is December 10 :)


message 16: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 61 comments Happy Birthday (a month early)! Eighteen is a good one. When my daughters each turned eighteen, I gave them dinner parties at home and I read for the assembled audience The Three Languages (collected by the brothers Grimm). The point of the story is that each young person, once raised, must follow his dream, not the dream of his parents.

(Have I got myself deeper into trouble here?)


message 17: by Bernadette (last edited Nov 08, 2010 10:27PM) (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) | 6 comments Rita wrote: "Bernadette, are you a teacher? Grade shool or high school?

I think Speak would be a great book to discuss in a classroom. Good for both male and female students to understand what rape is all ab..."


I'm not saying it wouldn't spark excellent class discussion...but it couldn't happen in our classrooms in Egypt. No sex, no religion, no politics.

(I'm a former teacher/current teacher trainer...upper elementary through HS, ESL and reading)


message 18: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) | 6 comments Kyle wrote: "The classics are great to an extent but I think its time schools moved toward more contemporary authors and novels in order to 1. Make literature more appealing to students and 2. Make what we're reading more current to today. ..."

I completely agree! It seems many of the classics are revisited in university courses anyway. And we have too many secondary students that need all the help that they can get in becoming competent and lifelong readers. Contemporary YA lit, in my opinion, is more likely to do that than classics.


message 19: by Rita, Busy Bee (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) | 351 comments Mod
I read a lot of the classics when I was a teenager--Tess of the D'Ubervilles, Silas Marner, The Mill on the Floss, Vanity Fair, A Tale of Two Cities, Les Misérables, The Count of Monte Cristo, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged... I also read more by Jane Austen, Hardy, Dumas, and Hugo, plus everything by Shakespeare I could get my hands on. And none of these were assigned reading.

But so many of these books were depressing, and I burned out reading them by the time I was a senior in high school. I think that's why I couldn't like The Great Gatsby when I read it in college.


message 20: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 61 comments Rita,

What prompted you to read all these classics on your own? I remember reading The Odyssey at age 15 or 16 because I wanted to impress my parents. I surprised myself by really loving it.


message 21: by Rita, Busy Bee (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) | 351 comments Mod
When I was 15, my parents moved to a Bible college where my parents were professors, but it wasn't designed like most colleges. The teachers and students all live together. More of a discipleship program.

One of the students had been a drama / music major in college, and she was into sci-fi & fantasy movies and books, and she loved Shakespeare. She read Hamlet with me after I had to read Romeo and Juliet for school. I was quickly addicted to Shakespeare, and by 10th grade, I had read most of the most popular plays and several of the more obscure ones too.

That branched into other areas of literature. So for my birthday, someone bought me Les Mis & Vanity Fair. Then I started getting interested in collecting old books.

By the way, Jeanne, I added a Classics folder for book discussions. If there are any books you'd like to add, you can start a thread for it.


message 22: by Rita, Busy Bee (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) | 351 comments Mod
Bernadette wrote: "Rita wrote: "Bernadette, are you a teacher? Grade shool or high school?

I think Speak would be a great book to discuss in a classroom. Good for both male and female students to understand what rap..."


Bernadette, that's very interesting how Egypt differs from here. So what kind of literature books are covered in the high school classrooms?


message 23: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 61 comments Great, Rita! I'll write something about Treasure Island and other RLS books at some point. I would also like to write about Mark Twain's novels. His craftmanship contains lessons for writers.


message 24: by Rita, Busy Bee (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) | 351 comments Mod
That is awesome. I'm looking forward to reading what you write about those books.


message 25: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) | 6 comments Rita wrote: "Bernadette, that's very interesting how Egypt differs from here. So what kind of literature books are covered in the high school classrooms?"

The classics...sometimes abridged for ESL students. Some of the international schools follow a more typically American curriculum and may read more YA lit...but even when I was a student at one of them, all we read were classics.

I think pairing a classic and a modern YA book would be an ideal practice in the classroom - they could be paired by theme, genre, setting, etc.


message 26: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeanne_voelker) | 61 comments Yes, that's a great idea. The reading curriculum would be more balanced between past and present and it would be fun to compare the works.


message 27: by Michael (new)

Michael Keyton (mikekeyton) | 13 comments Depressing classics? You ought to read 'Jude the Obscure'. Sobbed my little heart out


message 28: by Michael (new)

Michael Keyton (mikekeyton) | 13 comments Jeanne, you mentioned Mark Twain. You might find this link interesting but be warned, it's only up for a week.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/search?q...
As you know Twain's autobiography has at last been published after his stipulated hundred years. It's being serialised on the BBC as its book of the week. Five episodes in a week so it's edited but still really good. Plus a few short stories. Hope the link works for you


message 29: by Rita, Busy Bee (new)

Rita Webb (ritawebb) | 351 comments Mod
Bernadette wrote: "I think pairing a classic and a modern YA book would be an ideal practice in the classroom - they could be paired by theme, genre, setting, etc."

Bernadette, that sounds like an awesome way to handle it. I've set up a poll for book reads for the month of December. I tried to pick 3 for older teens to choose from and 3 for younger teens to choose from. When the poll is finalized, maybe we can find a similar classic to read along with it.


message 30: by S.M. (new)

S.M. Carrière (smcarriere) | 43 comments That's a brilliant idea! I've voted on one... but um... might have lost the link for the other one. What's the link for the choices that do not include 'Speak' again please.

Sorry, she says meekly.


message 31: by S.M. (new)

S.M. Carrière (smcarriere) | 43 comments Never mind, the idiot found the link under 'polls.'


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