Shout is Laurie Halse Anderson's companion (of sorts) to her 1999 memoir and National Book Award finalist, Speak, narrated by Melinda, a high school student who stops speaking after a classmate rapes her. In the two decades since, Anderson has given book talks to teens about "rape mythology, sexual violence and consent." Young people have sought her out to "tell [her], shame-smoked raw/ voices, tears waterfalling,/ about the time" they were assaulted. Even on a movie set, she was approached by a "big square guy" who said, "I am Melinda... A lot of us working on this film/ are like her.../ it happened to us, too."
Longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award in Young People's Literature and chosen as a Spring 2019 Kids' Indie Next Great Reads title, Shout is a biography, a call to action, a lesson, a fable, a warm embrace for those who hurt, a guttural scream demanding the pain stop. It's factual as it flows in lyrical verse through Anderson's life; speculative as she creates a collective noun for teens; direct as she speaks to scared librarians "on the cusp of courage." Shout is for survivors, for abusers and assaulters, for consenting young people, for gatekeepers unwilling to let sex through. Immensely powerful, Shout is for everyone. --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness