Shut Up

by Marilyn Reynolds

When seventeen year-old Mario discovers their aunt’s boyfriend is molesting Eddie, he knows he has to take action to protect his little brother, even if it means giving up school, his girlfriend, everything he has known. Where can they run to be safe? The story of two brothers and their fight to survive.

Note: Find out what happens to Eddie as a teenager in Eddie's Choice.

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Teaching guide

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160 pages

ISBN 978-1-929777-07-5

Grades 8 and up

Reading level: 4.4

Lexile count: HL750

A: 10.0 IL: UG BL: 4.4


“If I don’t come back from Iraq, if I die over there, you’ve got to be the maximum brother for Eddie. He’s only nine.”

“I’ll take care of Eddie, Mom. You know that.”

But now, I’ve got to get Eddie out of here!

Reviews:School Library Journal wrote:

The suspense builds as Mario must take big risks and suffer personal losses to keep his brother safe. Written with a keen understanding of teens and a remarkable awareness of sexual abuse dynamics, this wise novel is an important addition for any collection serving teens.

Booklist wrote:

All teens can find something to identify with or learn from in this cathartic and ultimately hopeful tale of recovery from sexual abuse. 

Readers wrote:

Thank you for your book Shut Up. It is the best book on child abuse (sexual) that I’ve ever read. I have read it several times, recommended it to several inmates and several members of our mental health department. It’s AMAZING. I can relate to both Mario and Eddie and what they went through and I only wish that I could have done what Mario did instead of killing my abuser. I look forward to reading your other books if we can get them at our library. –Folsom Prison Inmate

I can also say I have grabbed my brother and ran to a relative's house because that was the safest place. I was younger than Mario when we ran though, and I had my older brother there too. But that hopeful ending you gave was lovely and fills me with my own hope. Things are good in my life now, and I hope one day things are good for Mario and Eddie and Max. Real or not, you've created people that have been lingering in my head and I just want them to be happy –Sarah, Australia

I just read SHUT UP. Wow! What a title! What a book! Probably the most skillfully crafted, carefully researched and heartbreaking book I have read in a long time. Each character is essential to the telling of the story. Nevertheless, however grim and truthful the story is, it will also be helpful to someone who HAS to read it and that reader will be grateful for the kind and hopeful ending. —B. [teacher]

About the Author

Marilyn Reynolds is the author of eleven books of realistic teen fiction: Telling, Shut Up, No More Sad Goodbyes, If You Loved Me, Love Rules, Baby Help, But What About Me?, Beyond Dreams, Too Soon for Jeff, Detour for Emmy, and Eddie's Choice, all part of the popular and award-winning True-to-Life Series from Hamilton High. Ms. Reynolds also co-wrote the Emmy-nominated script for the ABC Afterschool Special teleplay of Too Soon for Jeff.

In addition to books for teens, Ms. Reynolds is also the author of a book for educators, I Won’t Read and You Can’t Make Me: Reaching Reluctant Teen Readers; Over 70 and I Don’t Mean MPH,a collection of essays on the gifts and challenges of longevity; and 'Til Death or Dementia Do Us Part, a memoir chronicling her husband's descent into Frontal Temporal Dementia. Her newest book is Over 80: Reflections on Aging, a collection of essays.

Ms. Reynolds worked with reluctant learners and teens in crises at a southern California alternative high school for thirty years. She remains actively involved in education through author visits (Zoom or in-person) to middle and high school students ranging from struggling readers to highly motivated writers who are interested in developing work for possible publication. She offers staff development workshops for educators and is a frequent guest speaker for programs and organizations that serve teens, parents, teachers, and writers.

To request a visit, ask a question, or learn more about her work, visit

Other Books By Marilyn Reynolds