Laurie Halse Anderson is best known for her book Speak, about a girl who is raped just before starting high school. When it was written back in the early days of teen fiction, topics like this weren't talked or written about. Laurie Halse Anderson changed all that.
Now, 20 years later, Anderson opens up in Shout, a new memoir, about the events in her life that motivated her to write Speak: a sexual assault just before high school, a dysfunctional family, the feeling that no one would notice if she stopped speaking completely. Told in verse, this memoir is intensely relatable and gives the reader hope that if Anderson found her way to the other side, we can too.
With Speak, Anderson empowered survivors to share their stories. Here are a few books that do just that.
Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough is a novel in verse about Artemisia, a real-life painter in Rome in 1610, who took the man who raped her to court. Artemisia narrates her journey with vivid language and the stunning descriptions of her paintings will have you eager to see them for yourself.
I Have the Right to by Chessy Prout is the memoir of a young woman who was sexually assaulted at her prestigious boarding school. Chessy details her experience reporting the crime and testifying in court, as well as the unexpected backlash she experienced from her school community.
In The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed, a group of girls band together to avenge the unpunished rape of a girl none of them knew, a girl who fled town in the aftermath. Fierce and empowering, and told in multiple perspectives, this book shows that when we refuse to be silenced, we really can make a difference.