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Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson; narrated by the author
Viking Books for Young Readers / Listening Library
Publication Date: March 12, 2019
Laurie Halse Anderson is one of the strongest voices in young adult literature, and her free verse poetry memoir weaves the story of a difficult childhood, the publication of Speak and its reception by teens everywhere, and her continued push for change and empathy in today’s toxic world. Her poems are nuanced and no-holds-barred, poignant and personal, witty and wry.
Anderson’s voice starts small, mimicking the powerlessness of her childhood, and develops strength as she does, finding her stride as she discovers the library and speaks of favorite teachers who helped her. Her sarcasm tangibly drips as she discusses the lack of anatomy of Ken dolls, and her anger rings through poems about the perpetrators of sexual violence. Readers will hear both Anderson’s vulnerability and her strength woven throughout her poetry, and her voice speaking her truths makes them all the more powerful.
This will pair nicely with other author memoirs like Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming and Shaun David Hutchinson’s Brave Face. It will also pair well with Christine Heppermann’s Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty with its verse and strong feminist messaging as well as other sexual assault survivor stories in Things We Haven’t Said: Sexual Violence Survivors Speak Out by Erin E. Moulton. Other great audios that deal with sexual assault to pair with this is Fredrick Backman’s Beartown, Joy McCullough’s Blood Water Paint, Elana K. Arnorld’s Damsel and Deb Caletti’s A Heart in a Body in the World. This will also appeal to those that resonated watching Perks of Being a Wallflower, Virgin Suicides, and 13 Reasons Why.
–Sarah Ressler Wright & Danielle Jones
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