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  • Writer's pictureIshta Mercurio

Cover Collection 14: SHOUT, Written by Laurie Halse Anderson, and designed by Jessica Jenkins

Hello, and Happy Friday! It's Good Friday, which I guess means I should be talking about something Good Friday-ish, but you know what?

I just don't produce that kind of content.

Instead, for today's Cover Collection post, I'm going to talk about a cover that is simple, but striking: the cover of Laurie Halse Anderson's recently released memoir, SHOUT, which was designed by Jessica Jenkins. (I normally post a shout-out to the artist, too, but I can't find that information in my copy of SHOUT. So I am assuming that Jessica Jenkins IS the artist, but if I'm wrong and you are the artist, please accept my apologies! And please contact me using this contact form to let me know who you are so I can edit this post.) Take a look:


The first thing I want to point out is that I like what Jenkins did here with the reference to the original cover art for SPEAK, Anderson's novel in verse about a girl who was raped at a party by an upperclassman, and who was then outcast and silenced by her classmates and community until she found a way to speak. The tree that is the centerpiece of this cover is the same tree that was the centerpiece of the cover for Speak, and I love that Jenkins carried it through. Take a look:


And the WAY she carried it through is stunning! In Speak, the tree is gray, and although it's in the foreground, it fades from our attention because we are drawn to the main character's face as she gazes out at us from behind it. In SHOUT, however, the tree is alive: burnished and glowing, bearing the words that tell her story, and interwoven with and lifting up the word SHOUT, stark white and in all-caps. This tree has survived. It is life.

The font for SHOUT is a superb choice: its sharp, clear lines send a signal that this is not a gentle truth that we are being given.

Finally, the color choices: stark white for the title and other text (with a peach highlight for the title of Speak, to make it stand out a little), inky black for the background, and metallic green-fading-through-yellow-fading-through-orange-red-pink-purple on the tree. This cover has the aesthetic of a timeless classic, AND the black background emphasizes the poignancy of the single-word title. It is simply stunning.

That's all I have time for today. But what are your thoughts? Drop them in the comments*, and let's keep the conversation going.

*I was notified recently that the comment box seems to have disappeared from my blog posts! I'm trying to get that fixed, but if you can't see a comments box right now, please accept my apologies and know that I'm working on it.

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