Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Laurie Halse Anderson Signing with Tara
By Laurie Halse Anderson
October 19, 2010
Atheneum, 304 pages
In this compelling sequel to Chains, a National Book Award Finalist and winner of the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson shifts perspective from Isabel to Curzon and brings to the page the tale of what it takes for runaway slaves to forge their own paths in a world of obstacles—and in the midst of the American Revolution.
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.
— Amazon.com description
My book signing adventures with Tara at Fiction Folio continued last night as we trekked out to Naperville yet again to meet the brilliant and brave author Laurie Halse Anderson at Anderson's Bookstore.
I've loved Laurie since I read her book Speak, a story about a teen girl recovering from rape. Every 12-year-old girl, as Laurie said last night, should sit down with her mother and read Speak. Reading that book promotes conversation, healing and understanding, which could save a girl's life.
These difficult conversations seem to be what Laurie does best—eating disorders, cutting, race, war...the list goes on. Just seeing her talk to middle-schoolers and elementary school kids last night (her audience for Forge is a bit younger) made it clear that she knows how to communicate in a way that gets their full attention.
Laurie's latest books are Chains and its new sequel, Forge. This time, her characters are dealing with a serious issue that plagued our nation for centuries—slavery. Another difficult topic our young adults need to personalize and fully understand so that it never happens again.
She was so funny and sweet, and I'm thrilled we got to meet her. Plus, she says her husband built her a "writing cabin" and that most of their house is lit with oil lamps. The woman chops her own wood for heat. Could she be more awesome?
Also, for those who don't mind our insanity: Check out Tara & Anna's Epic Adventure, Part 2, in which we eat a lot of french fries.