Book Review: Shout


Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson

Filled with imagery and metaphors, Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson, addressed difficult situations including trauma, rape, cancer, addiction, and abject poverty. The author’s pain management comprised moving, running, art, and reading. Through powerful and memorable words, Laurie Halse Anderson tributes a gym teacher, an author, and a journalism professor for her curiosity. When a friend introduced her to a Carnegie library, “Lovebrarians” provided memorable treasures and angels without rivalry, criticism, or torture.

This collection of poetry provides escape recipes, social mountain opportunities, and “Sound of Music” harmony while encountering directionally challenging situations, war themes, sour relationships, and unfortunate vulnerabilities. Defenseless against figurative war zones and fighting battles just to breathe were typical experiences described while facing silence and sadness. “Dreaming was a tradition” to ward against a “lifetime sentence of rape” and other societal dysfunctions. Desperate to feel accepted without censorship or condemnation, Anderson presents desperate teenagers who ache to be included, deny compliance, and refuse to be silent despite emotional scars.

Riding a bicycle provided more than an equestrian simile, a connection to the real world, an escape mechanism, a sense of independence, and free transportation. Fantasies of being Madonna, Princess Diana Spencer, and Cinderella blossomed hopes of liberation and happiness.

When Laurie Halse Anderson was welcomed by Walter Dean Myers into the world of books for kids, she accepted a responsibility to her readers. Children with scars, should not “disappear into the rearview mirror.” These authors celebrated “writing for the kids the world doesn’t want to see.”

If you appreciate reading about people who face adversity, are drowning in broken dreams, and are “hungry in the sea of despair,” you will benefit from Shout. Transform your anger, crime, fear, or hatred into a “Mending Wall” that illuminates candles of hope and warms courage. If you are searching for companion reading, Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh parallels “cyclical poverty and the country’s changing economic policies that solidified her family’s place among the working poor.”

Anderson’s unflinching vindication is a “denouncement of our society’s failures” prior to the #metoo and #timesup movements. Shout the truth!

Shout is available in hardcover and audiobook. 

Guest review by Carmaine Ternes: Kansas Librarian, Researcher, Writer, and Presenter


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You’ve Graduated (Congrats!) – Now What?

Graduation season is upon us! Whether you’re graduating from high school, college, or grad school, you’re likely nervous about what comes next. Budgeting, home repair, jobs and interviewing – we get it – adulting is hard.

But don’t worry, we can help. APL librarians specially selected the following books specifically for new graduates looking for insight on life, work, and what comes next.


Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps by Kelly Williams BrownCall Number: 818.6 Brown, Kelly


Get the Interview Edge! Tips to Getting Hired from Interviewers by Kim Chung and Elisa Hui, Call number 650.14 Chung, Kim


Undecided: Navigating Life and Learning after High School by Genevieve Morgan, Call number 331.7 Morgan, Genevieve


Smart Girls: Success, School, and the Myth of Post-Feminism by Shauna Pomerantz and Rebecca Raby, Call number 371.82 Pomerantz, Shauna


The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn’t Have to be Complicated by Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack, Call Number: 332.02 Olen, Helaine


You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero, Call Number: 158.1 Sincero, Jen


In! College Admissions and Beyond: The Experts’ Proven Strategy for Success by Lillian Luterman and Jennifer Bloom, Call Number: 378.16 Luterman, Lillian


College Rules! How to Study, Survive, and Succeed in College by Sherrie Nist-Olejnik and Jodi Patrick Holschuh, Call Number: 378.19 Nist-Olejnik, Sherrie

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Beyond Bullets: Creative Journaling Ideas to Customize your Personal Productivity System by Megan Rutell, Call Number: 158 Rutell, Megan


Popular Mechanics’ When Duct Tape Just Isn’t Enough: Quick Fixes for Everyday Disasters by C.J. Petersen, Call Number: 643.7 Petersen, C.J.


Work It: Secrets for Success from the Boldest Women in the Business by Carrie Kerpen, Call Number: 650.1 Kerpen, Carrie


Cracking the New Job Market: 7 Rules for Getting Hired in Any Economy by R. William Holland, Call Number: 650.14 Holland, R. William


What Now? By Ann Patchett, Call Number: 158.1 Patchett, Ann

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Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Reading Challenge: A Book with a “Classics” Sticker

The 2019 Reading Challenges are here!  Are you struggling with what to read in the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Reading Challenge categories? We can help! Throughout the year, we will highlight several juvenile, YA, and adult fiction (or non-fiction) books in most of the categories.

These aren’t the only books we have available in each category but are ideas that can help you spark inspiration, help clarify the category, and (hopefully) make your decision easier.

We’re continuing our discussion of books with the category “A book with a ‘classics’ sticker.”


This category is a great excuse to spend some time at the library and search the shelves for your favorite classic book. Not sure what a “classics” sticker looks like or where to find it on a book? Look for a sticker on the spine of the book directly above the call number, as shown in the picture:



Below are a few examples of the books in our collection with “classics” stickers.

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

Little Men by Louisa May Alcott

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (YA)

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Northanger Abbey, Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, and Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

The Time Machine and the Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (also available in JF)

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (also available in JF and graphic novel)

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

Stories by Edgar Allan Poe (also available in Adult, YA, and Juvenile graphic novels)

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (YA)

Cannery Row, East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath, and Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Frankenstein, or, The modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley

Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities, and The old curiosity shop by Charles Dickens (available in Adult, JF, YA, and audiobook)

Happy Reading!

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