Rummanah Aasi
Description: 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.

Review: Like many readers my first introduction to Laurie Halse Anderson is through her powerful, heart wrenching debut novel, Speak, which I read during my first year of library school and it has resonated with me since then. I had no idea that the root of that novel stemmed from personal experience. In this powerful, timely, candid, and exquisite memoir told in free verse, Anderson delves into her past and that of her parents, sharing experiences of being a sexual assault survivor at the age of 13 and dealing with her father's PTSD and rageful episodes as a World War II veteran.
  Anderson's writing is clear, raw, and lyrical as she traces the years from her childhood to the start of her writing career, describing how the memory of her rape finally spurred her to write the truth and to become an activist against censorship and rape culture, which are both addressed in the book along with confusing social messages surrounding sexuality. Her road to reclaiming her voice and facing her demons is long, hard, and painful but also incredibly inspiring. Silence is a repeating theme throughout the memoir whether is it done subconsciously or forced upon in fear of not being believed. Shout should be required reading just like teaching consent should be required at all grade levels.

Rating: 5 stars

Words of Caution: There is strong language and candid discussions of sexual assault, sexual harassment, drug abuse, underage drinking, and domestic abuse. Recommended for Grades 9 and up.

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2 Responses
  1. I think this is one of the strongest YA books of the year. Are your students reading it?

  2. I agree that this book is really well done. It speaks to so many people on many levels.

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