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. Photobucket

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.

Anna Reads young adult book blog


  1. Lucky you!! I have *never* been to an author signing, maybe one day though!
    By the way, you look really pretty in that photo with Tara and Laurie!

    Hafsah @ IceyBooks

  2. Ahhhh so fun, Anna! That's awesome that you and Tara got to go...I'm glad you girls had a blast :)

  3. Such a great picture! LHA sounds amazing. I've read most of her contemp stuff, so I'll have to work on the historical books soon.

    Glad you both got lots of fries; they totally beat fancy food.

  4. I love y'alls little adventures! hehe

    Speak was the first book by her that I read too & I loved it. The way she's able to take such a serious subject matter & force you to open your eyes about it is riveting. She is definitely an author for all generations!

  5. You know, we are pretty much author signing pros by now. It's a sad, sad thing that we have no more to go to until next year :( Until then, I will refrain from eating too many fries so that we can stock up in a few months.

  6. You very lucky goose. I loved Speak... the other night I happened to run across the motion picture very early in the night. I couldn't sleep. Darn corset must of sucked the life out of me. The movie was pretty near great. I could only think of a very few points of the book that were left out.

    Again, Lucky!

    Pleasant Evening,
    Mad Scientist

  7. You're so lucky!!! I thought Chains was awesome and I really want to read Forge. I think the 8th grade teacher at my school could actually even use it as a class novel. I'm so jealous that you got to meet Laurie Halse Anderson! She sounds fabulous.


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