Though she writes for a wide variety of ages, Laurie Halse Anderson has made a name for herself with Young Adult books. Speak, the award-winning novel about fourteen-year-old Melinda and her struggle to overcome a horrific assault, was published in 1999. The novel created a buzz in the industry and the positive impact Speak had on readers resulted in Penguin Group naming an imprint after it.
A decade after Speak was released, the publishing company released the 10th Anniversary/Platinum Edition of the acclaimed novel. When most books go out-of-print, or at least fall from favor, Speak has withstood the test of time. Laurie’s first teen novel can be found in numerous school curriculum across the country, and as such, it is one of the most-challenged books in public education. (Read Anderson’s reaction to last year’s Banned Books Week scandal.)
The next two YA novels that followed—Catalyst and Prom—received many state awards and were both selected as American Library Association’s Best Book for Young Adults notoriety.
Laurie’s first attempt of story-telling from a male’s perspective was Twisted. This was the third time one of her novels appeared on the New York Times bestseller list and it also received an ALA Best Book for Young Adults award.
Wintergirls, her newest contemporary teen novel, debuted on the New York Times bestseller list. Starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist, and Kirkus as well as many articles in magazines and newspapers across the country—both pro and con—resulted from Ms. Anderson’s emotional journey into the painful world of eating disorders.
Laurie Halse Anderson does not shy away from tough subjects. Whether it’s tackling slavery during the Revolutionary War, bullying in modern-day schools, or the aftermath of rape, Laurie is there to pull the reader into the story and lead them to the other side—where there is light and hope.
We’ll see you at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6!
- Be sure to check out the Q&A section under the Writing & Publishing section on her website: http://madwomanintheforest.com/laurie/
- Video Interview link: http://www.adlit.org/articles/authors/28150/
- YouTube Chanel: http://www.youtube.com/user/halseanderson