Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Ellen Hopkins is My Hero
I felt a physical reaction-like I had actually had the wind knocked out of me after reading Crank by Ellen Hopkins. I'm not really sure I have ever had such an emotional shock to the system while reading a book. Which is why I had to include a book by her for Banned Book Week in my giveaway. If you google Ellen Hopkins inevitably her name pops up with the words challenged and censorship. In this article found on her livejournal.com she talks about an instance in which she was uninvited to a Teen Lit Fest in 2011.
You will not find person more passionate about censorship and books for young adults. In this article she shares her thoughts about censorship and a powerful poem she wrote called Manifesto. Her books are raw, honest and sadly realistic. She writes about the dark topics of drugs, cutting and suicide. These are things that our kids see and hear about in the halls of school every day.
Small town America is now armed with drug dogs while hydrocodone is being bought and sold in school parking lots during recess. These topics are not shocking revelations to the teens living it every day.
I shake my head in frustration when I read that adults or libraries try to keep these books out of the hands of teens.
Crank does not glamorize the use of drugs. It shows the slow, dark, descent of a girl that tries a drug and then becomes addicted to the "monster". Crank doesn't have a happy ending and that's why it's so powerful. It's exactly why we need to make sure that it's accessible to teens and we use this book as a teaching tool. If it helps even one child to think twice before going down that road it's worth the fight.
Thank you Ellen Hopkins for fighting the good fight. I've got your back.
For the chance to win a copy of Crank by Ellen Hopkins click on sidebar to right or just scroll down.