Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson
Updated: Jul 12, 2020
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Shout is a book full of poems bursting with raw emotion. Readers will dive deep into the world of Laurie Halse Anderson and how her experiences formed the foundation of the novel Speak. She does not hold back as she explains the rape she endured in high school and the cascade of events her life turned into as a result of it. She also calls out society and how it continues to fail victims of rape.
It was alarming to read about Anderson’s childhood and the way women were viewed. Sex education was considered foul and was removed from education altogether. There was no conversation about consent or safe sex. Women were treated like objects, and Anderson was confronted many times to have sex in order to “get ahead”. As if the only way she could progress in life was to be a toy for men. But she denied each encounter and forged her own path, one that would lead her to help thousands of people.
While Anderson made sure to mention the sign of the times during her childhood, she also showed how little has changed around the subject of sex and rape in modern times. While education may now include sex ed, she is still faced with school systems that want her to censor her speeches and book signings. But why should she? There should be no red tape that forces someone to hold back the truth. If more people learned about what happens in the dark, maybe there could actually be a change.
No one should be pressured into sex. No one should have to be victimized, man or woman, boy or girl. Shout takes a step forward, forcing people to see what it is happening to people all across the world.
I would suggest reading Speak before beginning Shout, as there are many references made to the novel. But this could very well be read on its own as Laurie Halse Anderson’s memoir. While there is nothing overly graphic, the context is at times triggering given the subject matter.
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