In the same spirit of Jacqueline Woodson's lyrical memoir Brown Girl Dreaming (Nancy Paulsen Books 2014), this title commands its audience with the respect due to a prolific voice in children's and young adult literature. Detailing her father's military trauma, her own family life, school, traumatic assault, subsequent life abroad in Denmark, and current work as author and speaker combines to create a detailed picture of Anderson's life in a mere 300 pages of verse. The book spans her biography and pauses to highlight significant memories, and all the while there is a thematic undercurrent of general empowerment. Her life experiences spotlight deeply personal relationships that share trauma and which act as an inspirational springboard for the honest conversations she discusses with students today. The sparse text suits the subject matter because each word is magnified. If there was any doubt about Anderson's powerful voice, this title renders the fact indisputable. Truly, the book is equal to the sum of its parts; whereas specific verse or chapters can stand alone, the collective masterpiece is clear considering today's pressing universal social issues. Multiple copies should be on order and necessary conversations will follow because her words are both a sounding board and call to action. In an evenly-paced unfolding of events, she brings readers full circle beginning with the reason for her decision to write Speak (Farrar, Straus and Giroux 1999) twenty years ago to why it seems like it could have been written last week.
Author(s): Laurie Halse Anderson
Publisher: Viking Children's Books (Penguin Young Readers Group)
Copyright Year: 2019
Reviewer: Alicia Abdul
Rating: Highly Recommended
Grade (as stated by Reviewer/SLC): 9-12
Review Date: April 1, 2019
Bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson is known for the unflinching way she writes about, and advocates for, survivors of sexual assault. Now, inspired by her fans and enraged by how little in our culture has changed since her groundbreaking novel Speak was first published twenty years ago, she has written a poetry memoir that is as vulnerable as it is rallying, as timely as it is timeless. In free verse, Anderson shares reflections, rants, and calls to action woven between deeply personal stories from her life that she's never written about before. Searing and soul-searching, this important memoir is a denouncement of our society's failures and a love letter to all the people with the courage to say #MeToo and #TimesUp, whether aloud, online, or only in their own hearts. SHOUT speaks truth to power in a loud, clear voice-- and once you hear it, it is impossible to ignore.
Media Type: Book, eBook
# Pages: 304