No Matter How Loud I Shout – Edward Humes
A Book Review by Katelyn Aune
No Matter How Loud I Shout is a compelling and captivating nonfiction book containing a plethora of first-hand accounts of events taking place in Juvenile Courts and Detention Centers in Los Angeles, California. The opening chapter starts by describing the Los Angeles Central Juvenile Hall in all its poor quality and unmet standards. Then it begins to tear at the morality of the juvenile justice system: how unfair and fickle it truly is. It supports these theories with real stories of children and how they ended up working within the gangs roaming the streets of L.A.
Very rarely am I interested in the non-fiction genre, but this book did an amazing job of getting and keeping my attention. The way the book is written builds a suspense like no other, making even seemingly mundane details of the story jump out at you. He also does a good job of keeping his message and tone fluent. It’s difficult to create a steady flow in your story when all it is is a collection of eye-witness accounts, but Humes does it wonderfully. For example, in the first chapter we see the numbed mind of an intake officer shuffling through profiles second guessing whether certain inmates belong there or not, and then we flow into the next chapter where a HRO (high-risk offender) awaiting trial reads off a poem to his peers wondering why he was doomed to be held there, and not allowed to be a father. The connection in this example being both people wondering where a person belongs. This way of storytelling rids the story of any choppiness that could possibly make the book difficult to read and draw conclusions.
Each story exposes or informs the reader of a certain flaw of the juvenile judicial system. Each character has a very big part to play in each story too, which makes them very memorable as you begin to associate them with how the judicial system treated them or vice versa (their behavior inside the court system.) Carla, a young straight A student, represents the breaking of the juvenile criminal stereotype, Enias, a HRO in the center, reveals the humanity so many of the inmates still have. These are just a few of the many characters that make this book so emotional and drive readers to want to keep reading.
I picked up this book because I had a momentary interest in law, and even as that interest has faded I remained occupied in the pages of this book. I recommend this story to anyone interested in law or true crime. I would also suggest it to anyone with an interest in books centered around suspense and action. This story will certainly not fail to keep you intrigued with endless surprising true stories of juvenile criminals as they navigate through L.A.’s corrupt and broken bureaucracy.
Although, not the whole story will leave you hopeless and doubting the stability of America’s government. He reminds us through the story with various success stories too that good is out there, and that occasionally the system prevails and can change children’s lives for the better.
Reading this book has opened my mind to the intricacies of juvenile court. It has aided in the formation and extension of my own opinions and has also instilled a great sense of sympathy for the children entering these centers. This book was super interesting to read and analyze and I look forward to reading more of Humes’s works as the year progresses.