Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson
Review by Christina
Shout voices the cries of so many young girls on the issue of sexual assault through the
book’s description of Anderson’s own experience of being raped when she was thirteen.
She shouts that survivors of rape are not taken as seriously and often brushed aside.
Using poetry, she notes how everyday is a struggle to feel accepted and valued within
her family and community. It is a leading work of literature for the #MeToo movement,
a movement against sexual harrassment and sexual assault.
Some of my favorite lines from the book are:
Eve ate the apple
Society often condemns women for sinful acts, such as sexual harassment, failing to
realize that both men and women are to blame. In this case, Adam and Eve both wanted
a taste of the forbidden fruit, but because Adam was afraid, he pushed Eve to try first. A
woman’s silver tongue is just a substitute label society uses to cover men’s cowardice.
Take your age the first time a stranger touched
your body with danger in his hands,
But it's not usually a stranger, is it?
When we think of sexual assault, we often imagine being alone on a dark street in the
middle of the night getting mugged by a drunk gang. However, most sexual assaults
spring from people we know. Potentially it is your second or third date, maybe you’ve
known each other for two month. Sexual assault is any invasion of your body, your holy
temple without your consent. It is important that young girls and boys learn the value of
their bodies and how to protect them from even those you call “friends.”
I recommend this book to anyone starting from middle school as that is when gullible
teens are beginning to experiment with relationships. With their only experience of love
from romance novels, those middle schoolers can be easily misled by people who claim
to love them when their only intentions were to use their young, untouched bodies then
dispense the ashes. Through the book Shout , teens will learn about the dangers of sexual assault and how to shout if this tragic experience were to happen to them.
I rate this book a 9/10. My only critique is that the chaos of the poetry fogged up
Anderson’s main message about self love. There are moments in the book where I
marvel at the beautiful words but fail to see the point. But all in all, I love the way
Anderson used poetry to tell her story. At important junctures, her poetic language
conveyed the message that our bodies are sacred and private to ourselves. It is our right
to consent or deny any invasion of our holy temples. I feel like not enough young people
have heard this message. Most are self-conscious of what others think and how to act so
others can accept them. They need Shout to hear the words: You are beautiful.