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Monday, October 23, 2023

Opening doors with her writing


“If I can write a book that will help the world make a little more sense to a teen, then that's why I was put on the planet.” – Laurie Halse Anderson


Born in Potsdam, NY on this date in 1961, Anderson began her career as a freelance writer and a reporter at The Philadelphia Inquirer in the early 1980s before switching courses into creative writing for young adults. 


After self-publishing a couple of books, her book Speak not only was accepted by a major publisher but also hit the 1999 New York Times bestseller list.  A portrayal of a 13-year-old sexual assault victim who loses her ability to speak after the attack, Speak won the Golden Kite award, the Edgar Allan Poe Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.   The book has been translated into 16 languages and made into a major motion picture.


Her book Fever 1793 was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and a Junior Library Guild selection, and Chains was a National Book Award finalist and winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction.  She also has been named for the ALA’s Margaret A. Edwards Award for her ongoing contribution to young adult literature. 


She strives to portray characters with whom teens can identify. “That can be the most painstaking aspect of being a teen, figuring out what the world really looks like.  If you find someone in a book, you know you're not alone and that's what's so comforting about books.”

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