Teen Librarian Toolbox
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#SpeakforRAINN15 – Celebrating 15 Years of Speak by Raising Money for RAINN

Fifteen years ago, the novel Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson was released. Today, this novel is a classic that still speaks to the heart of teens everywhere. I have teens regularly come in and ask for this book.

Speak is the story of Melinda, who has stopped speaking. As a survivor of a sexual assault, Melinda just can’t find the words to tell others about what has happened to her. It is a story of survival and recovery. It is a story about speaking up and out about horrific truths. It is a story which is tragically all too familiar to sexual assault survivors everywhere.

Laurie Halse Anderson has been a very active spokesperson for RAINN over the years. RAINN is the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, dedicated to working with survivors on recovery, raising awareness, and even recently working with Congress to address the widespread epidemic of sexual violence on college campuses. During the month of April, if you make a donation to RAINN, the publisher, Macmillan, will make a matching contribution. Here is the information from the RAINN donation page:

“In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month and the 15-year anniversary of Speak, Laurie has joined forces with RAINN to create #Speak4RAINN15, a campaign to raise funds and connect survivors with the help they deserve. You can make a difference this April by donating $15 to #Speak4RAINN15. Once you donate, Macmillan, publisher of Speak, will match your contribution dollar-for-dollar! $10 helps one survivor through RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE), so combined with support from Macmillan, your $15 will help three survivors of sexual violence!

For over 15 years, Melinda’s story has given thousands of survivors the courage to come forward. Please join Laurie today in showing other survivors that recovery is possible.
Join the conversation on Twitter with @halseanderson and @RAINN01 by using the hashtag #Speak4RAINN15.

If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual assault, it’s never too late to get help. Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected to your sexual assault service provider, or visit online.rainn.org to chat one-on-one with a RAINN staff member. You are not alone.”

As someone who believes in the power of YA literature to raise awareness, promote healing, and change our culture, I made my donation today. Please check out the #SVYALit Project to learn how you can use Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and other YA titles to discuss important issues like sexual violence and consent with teens. And check out this powerful post from author and teacher Eric Devine about teaching Speak in his classroom: LOUD AND CLEAR, A REFLECTION ON TEACHING SPEAKING BY LAURIE HALSE ANDERSON IN THE CLASSROOM.