For those of you who haven't read Speak yet, go do it now before reading the rest of this post, since there will be spoilers. Plus it's completely worth your time and not the evil piece of smut Scroggins would have you believe it is.
Speak is a testament to taking control over your own life and embracing the power within you to say "no" and to protect yourself. Melinda, the narrator, will not speak of the events before her freshman year of high school—her rape at a party, call to 911, and subsequent ostracization by all of her peers (as her call broke up the party and got many in trouble). She can't bring herself to tell anyone what happened, and as a result becomes a leper in her high school before she even gets there.
It is a powerful and empowering novel for young readers and should be read by everyone to discuss date rape and the right to say no. Not only will it show this to girls, it will provide an entry point for discussion of rape and what they might do to help combat the rape culture that is our society. The fact that Scroggins describes Melinda's rape and the events that led up to it as "soft-core porn" illustrates this—why else would he think a rape scene would be sexually stimulating?
I can't even tell you how angry I am about this, especially as it comes right before Banned Books Week later this month. I am also angry about his bashing of Slaughter-House Five, which one commenter rightly described as being about peace. But as a woman and a reader, especially one with great love for young adult literature, I am deeply upset by this ignorant condemnation of an important book in the young adult canon.