beth_shulman: (book: meg powers)

…Philip Pullman has said that your life begins when you are born, and your story begins when you discover that you have been born into the wrong family by mistake.

But when does the life of a storyteller begin?

Mine began when I was about six. Up until then, I had half-believed that my mother could read my thoughts. But at some point during first grade, I realized that I was completely alone in my own consciousness. I used to regularly freak myself out by sitting still, closing my eyes, and asking myself the same question over and over until I was in a sort of trance. The question was, How am I me?

What I meant was, How did my particular self get in here? Again and again, I would close my eyes and plunge myself into this existential angst. Why did I do it? I think that, like someone alone in a dark room, I was feeling around for a door. Because I really, really did not want to be alone in there.

And I did find a door, eventually. )
beth_shulman: (Default)
...This leads me to why I write for teenagers. I'm pissed. I'm angry. I'm enraged. I wish I could be a sweet and cuddly author, but that's not possible. Inside, I'm 15 years old, and I'm mad as hell. I'm angry because I can see the world through teenage eyes and through grown-up eyes, and I know it's not fair. The lies, the injustice, and the hypocrisy we force-feed our teenagers makes me sick.
      I love teenagers because they are honest. I love teenagers because they are raw and passionate. They think in black and white and are willing to go to extremes to defend their beliefs. I love teenagers because they are artistic. They are risk-takers. They are shape-shifters, trying on new skins, new personalities, new dreams. I love teenagers because they challenge me, and because they frustrate me. They give me hope. They give me nightmares. They are our children, and they deserve the best books we can write. I wrote Speak for these wonderful, maddening, beautiful creatures. But I'm glad you liked it, too.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

  • May. 24th, 2010 at 2:35 AM
beth_shulman: (book: meg powers)
THE FIRST TEN LIES THEY TELL YOU IN HIGH SCHOOL:

1. We are here to help you.
2. You will have time to get to your class before the bell rings.
3. The dress code will be enforced.
4. No smoking is allowed on school grounds.
5. Our football team will win the championship this year.
6. We expect more of you here.
7. Guidance counselors are always available to listen.
8. Your schedule was created with you in mind.
9. Your locker combination is private.
10. These will be the years you look back on fondly.

TEN MORE LIES THEY TELL YOU IN HIGH SCHOOL:

1. You will use algebra in your adult lives.
2. Driving to school is a privilege that can be taken away.
3. Students must stay on campus during lunch.
4. The new text books will arrive any day now.
5. Colleges care more about you than your SAT scores.
6. We are enforcing the dress code.
7. We will figure out how to turn off the heat soon.
8. Our bus drivers are highly trained professionals.
9. There is nothing wrong with summer school.
10. We want to hear what you have to say.

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