These 10 Quotes from SHOUT by Laurie Halse Anderson Deserve To Be Shouted

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Kelly Jensen


Kelly is a former librarian and a long-time blogger at STACKED. She's the editor/author of (DON'T) CALL ME CRAZY: 33 VOICES START THE CONVERSATION ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH and the editor/author of HERE WE ARE: FEMINISM FOR THE REAL WORLD. Her next book, BODY TALK, will publish in Fall 2020. Follow her on Instagram @heykellyjensen.

Twenty years after her debut award-decked and canonical YA novel Speak hit shelves, Laurie Halse Anderson is back again with a new book that takes on similar themes. But this time, rather than putting readers into the fictional world of Melinda Sordino—survivor of high school, of peers, of sexual assault—we’re given a window into Laurie’s personal experiences of those same things. Melinda’s story is her own. So is Laurie’s.

SHOUT  is Laurie’s story about being a survivor, about being a woman, about being an advocate who is passionate about young people, about intellectual freedom, and about being the best people we can all possibly be. It’s angry and it’s hopeful. It’s sad and it’s powerful. It’s real and raw.

The verse is flawless. It adds movement and clarity. It is exactly what it wants to be: a shout, not a whisper. This is a masterclass in feminism, in storytelling, and in the power of words to draw action that changes the world.

Find below ten incredible quotes from SHOUT that will, no doubt, stay with you for a long, long time. Once you read these, go grab the book from your favorite bookstore or library.


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untreated pain

is a cancer of the soul

that can kill you



Scars may look stronger than unwounded skin

but they’re not,

once broken, we’re easily hurt again, or worse

the temptation is to hide behind shields

play defense, drown ourselves in sorrow

or drug our way to haunted oblivion

until death erases hope.



Most relationships come with expiration dates

just like milk and bread. Some go sour

Before you can taste them.



Too many grownups tell kids to follow their


like that’s going to get them somewhere.

Aunt Laurie says follow your nightmares instead

cause when you figure out what’s eating you alive

you can slay it.



Pain won’t be contained

By bars or marks

Your scars deserve attention, too.



Censorship is the child of fear

the father of ignorance

and the desperate weapon of fascists




The false innocence

you render for them

by censoring truth

protects only you.




The opposite of innocence

is not sin. Dearly beloved,

the opposite of innocence

is strength.



We’re all born to fight,

but few are ever trained,

instead they tell us

“Be nice.”



Sisters, drop

everything. Walk

away from the lake, leaning

on each other’s shoulders

when you need

the support. Feel the contractions

of another truth ready

to be born: shame


inside out

is rage.



Stories activate, motivate

celebrate, cerebrate

snare our fates

and share our great

incarnations of hope.



For more insight into the work of Laurie Halse Anderson, check out this interview with her on the 15th anniversary of Speak, her conversation with Courtney Summers on the power of girls’ stories, and dig into a discussion of censorship.