Happy Sunday everyone! Today I'm going to announce the winners of my signed Sisters Red and Audrey, Wait! giveaways! But before I do that, I'll give you the Sunday Funday links! And before I do that, we'll talk a little about book banning.
I know I've been getting really good at posting these things in the morning instead of super late at night, and tonight's post is totally ruining that. But I got off to a late start today, and then when I finally did turn my computer on, my Google reader was just absolutely INUNDATED with posts in reaction to this article discussing how the rape scenes in Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak are pornographic. Other books attacked in the op-ed piece include Slaughter-House Five and Twenty Boy Summer.
Oddly, the writer does say that we (as a society) should be holding up Christian ideals, so I assume he finds the Bible to be acceptable reading material, but last time I read the Bible there were scenes depicting war, orgies, drinking, prostitution, etc. Is his argument that those scenes are meant to teach, to prove a point? Aren't the ones in Speak also meant to help, to prove a point, to show things how they really are? The article goes on to say that middle school children shouldn't be taught about homosexuality, condom use, or oral sex (I'm sorry, but if this guy doesn't think that some middle schoolers are experimenting with sex, with or without that education, he's an idiot. People I knew were experimenting with sex when I was in middle school, and that was 12 years ago. And my have times changed since then.)
I'm not going to go on and on about how Speak isn't pornographic, because many others have said it better than I ever could, or say that Speak has helped many, many, many teens work through their own sexual assault. Instead, I'd like to point you to the excellent responses on the topic. (Thanks to Reclusive Bibliophile for the link list, and to Kate Hart for directing me there.)
The point of all these posts is this: "Reading a book cannot hurt you." Duh. And with slightly less press, but also in Missouri, another extremely popular and excellent YA book, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, was recently banned. This interesting post, from non-book blogger The RRoy Report, discusses the issue, and how, uhm, duh, kids are doing things like masturbating (gasp!) and using swear words (egads!) anyway, whether or not they've read Alexie's National Book Award winner.
OK, now here are the rest of the Sunday Funday links! (The one about Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was always going to be included, but I bumped it up because it seemed relevant.)
Beth Revis, the author of the can't-wait-to-read book Across the Universe, talks hooking readers with your first chapter over on the dystopian author blog League of Extraordinary Writers.
If you're at all like me or even a little bit cool, you love the If You Give a _____ a _____ stories (or you have children who do, and your children are awesome.) Jennifer Daiker wondered what would happen If You Give a Writer an Idea.
Agent Mary Kole lets you know that not only does your day job not really matter to her, but you will probably have to keep your day job after you sign with an agent.
Ever wonder what an editorial letter from a major publisher looks like? Mandy Hubbard shares tidbits from her Prada and Prejudice letter (which, at full length, was 11 pages long! Yikes!)
Let the Words Flow has a great post about writing good...well, BAD...villains.
Wondering how to find the time to write? The answer is simple - either do it or don't.
Good news from Kiersten White! Writing never gets easier, even when you're published and have an agent! (Wait, that doesn't actually sound like such good news after all...)
Dear Internet: Don't date a writer.
Finally, the hilarious Amna has created a Burn Book for literary characters. WIN.
Alright, and finally....the winners of my giveaway!!! After all the extra entries were tallied, etc., there were 202 entries for the books! Woot! Awesome. I used Google docs to keep track of everything (assisted by Google forms for data capture), and I promise everyone got their extra entries counted. Then I headed over to random.org to choose the winning numbers. And those numbers were...
7 and 107
Which means nothing. BUT according to my form, it means that...
JESSICA HARWOOD won a signed copy of Audrey, Wait!
and ERICA won a signed copy of Sisters Red!
Congratulations ladies! I'll be emailing you for your addresses shortly!
If you didn't win, don't be sad! I've got a stock pile of goodies, including signed books and SWAG, to give away for my one-year blogversary, which will be coming up at the end of October! So get excited!