Laurie Halse Anderson

Young Adult Novelist & Memoirist
Battling Censorship
Travels from: Philadelphia, PA

“A praise song to survivors, a blistering rebuke to predators, and a testament to the healing power of shared stories.” —The Horn Book, starred reivew

Laurie Halse Anderson is a New York Times bestselling author whose writing spans young readers, teens, and adults. Combined, her books have sold more than 8 million copies. Her book SHOUT, a memoir-in-verse about surviving sexual assault at the age of thirteen and a manifesta for the #MeToo era, has received widespread critical acclaim and was Laurie’s eighth New York Times bestselling book.

Two of her novels, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists, and Chains was short-listed for the prestigious Carnegie medal in the United Kingdom. Laurie has been nominated for Sweden’s Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award three times. Laurie was selected by the American Library Association for the Margaret A. Edwards Award and has been honored for her battles for intellectual freedom by the National Coalition Against Censorship and the National Council of Teachers of English.

In addition to combating censorship, Laurie regularly speaks about the need for diversity in publishing and is a member of RAINN’s National Leadership Council. She lives in Philadelphia, where she enjoys cheesesteaks while she writes.

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Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed

DC Comics |
Middle/YA

Princess Diana of Themyscira believes that her 16th birthday will be one of new beginnings–namely, acceptance into the warrior tribe of the Amazons. But her birthday celebrations are cut short when rafts carrying refugees break through the barrier that separates her island home from the outside world. When Diana defies the Amazons to try to bring the outsiders to safety, she finds herself swept away by the stormy sea.

Cut off from everything she’s ever known, Diana herself becomes a refugee in an unfamiliar land. Now Diana must survive in the world beyond Themyscira for the first time–a world that is filled with danger and injustice unlike anything she’s ever experienced. With new battles to be fought and new friends to be made, she must redefine what it means to belong, to be an Amazon, and to make a difference.

Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed is a story about growing into your strength, fighting for justice, and finding home.

Shout

Viking Books for Young Readers |
Middle/YA

Bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson is known for the unflinching way she writes about, and advocates for, survivors of sexual assault. Now, inspired by her fans and enraged by how little in our culture has changed since her groundbreaking novel Speak was first published twenty years ago, she has written a poetry memoir that is as vulnerable as it is rallying, as timely as it is timeless. In free verse, Anderson shares reflections, rants, and calls to action woven between deeply personal stories from her life that she’s never written about before. Described as “powerful,” “captivating,” and “essential” in the nine starred reviews it’s received, this must-read memoir is being hailed as one of 2019’s best books for teens and adults. A denouncement of our society’s failures and a love letter to all the people with the courage to say #MeToo and #TimesUp, whether aloud, online, or only in their own hearts, SHOUT speaks truth to power in a loud, clear voice– and once you hear it, it is impossible to ignore.

Speak

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) |
Middle/YA

“Speak up for yourself—we want to know what you have to say.” From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless—an outcast—because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. Through her work on an art project, she is finally able to face what really happened that night: She was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. With powerful illustrations by Emily Carroll, Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak: The Graphic Novel comes alive for new audiences and fans of the classic novel.

This title has Common Core connections.

Ashes

Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books |
Middle/YA

As the Revolutionary War rages on, Isabel and Curzon have narrowly escaped Valley Forge—but their relief is short-lived. Before long they are reported as runaways, and the awful Bellingham is determined to track them down. With purpose and faith, Isabel and Curzon march on, fiercely determined to find Isabel’s little sister Ruth, who is enslaved in a Southern state—where bounty hunters are thick as flies.

Heroism and heartbreak pave their path, but Isabel and Curzon won’t stop until they reach Ruth, and then freedom, in this grand finale to the acclaimed New York Times bestselling trilogy from Laurie Halse Anderson.

Forge

Atheneum Books for Young Readers |
Middle/YA

Curzon navigates the dangers of being a runaway slave in this keenly felt second novel in in the historical middle grade The Seeds of America trilogy from acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson.

Blistering winds. Bitter cold. And the hope of a new future.

The Patriot Army was shaped and strengthened by the desperate circumstances of the Valley Forge winter. This is where Curzon the boy becomes Curzon the young man. In addition to the hardships of soldiering, he lives with the fear of discovery, for he is an escaped slave passing for free.

And then there is Isabel, who is also at Valley Forge—against her will. She and Curzon have to sort out the tangled threads of their friendship while figuring out what stands between the two of them and true freedom.

Chains

Atheneum Books for Young Readers |
Middle/YA

From acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson comes this compelling first novel in the historical middle grade The Seeds of America trilogy that shows the lengths we can go to cast off our chains, both physical and spiritual.

As the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight…for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel.

When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom.

Fever 1793

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers |
Middle/YA

From Fever 1793
“Where’s Polly?” I asked as I dropped the bucket down the well. “Did you pass by the blacksmith’s?
“I spoke with her mother, with Mistress Logan,” Mother answered softly, looking at her neat rows of carrots.
“And?” I waved a mosquito away from my face.
“It happened quickly. Polly sewed by candlelight after dinner. Her mother repeated that over and over, ‘she sewed by candlelight after dinner.’ And then she collapsed.”
I released the handle and the bucket splashed, a distant sound.
“Matilda, Polly’s dead.”

August 1793. Fourteen-year-old Mattie Cook is ambitious, adventurous, and sick to death of listening to her mother. Mattie has plans of her own. She wants to turn the Cook Coffeehouse into the finest business in Philadelphia, the capital of the new United States.
But the waterfront is abuzz with reports of disease. “Fever” spreads from the docks and creeps toward Mattie’s home, threatening everything she holds dear.

As the cemeteries fill with fever victims, fear turns to panic, and thousands flee the city. Then tragedy strikes the coffeehouse, and Mattie is trapped in a living nightmare. Suddenly, her struggle to build a better life must give way to something even more important — the fight to stay alive.

Don’t Follow Your Dreams - Slay Your Nightmares: How the Traumas from our Childhood and Adolescence Haunt our Adult Lives and How We Can Lay Them to Rest

Using Story To Speak Up About Hard Things: How Novels Open the Doors to Life-Changing Conversation

Pain, Shame & Dangerous Ignorance: Understanding of Rape Mythology To Save The Next Generation From Sexual Violence

Failing Our Boys: What I’ve Learned From 20 Years of Talking With Teenage Boys About Sexual Violence

Creativity is a Wild Mind and a Disciplined Eye

Laurie Halse Anderson | Speak 20th Anniversary

Laurie Halse Anderson at the ILA 2016 Conference

Laurie Halse Anderson (author of SHOUT) at the FYE® Conference 2019

Resources for Educators

On Censorship

Laurie’s Blog

Honors, Awards & Recognition

NYT Bestseller
National Book Award Finalist
Margaret A. Edwards Award

Media Kit

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