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Speak By Laurie Halse Anderson. ABOUT THE AUTHOR.

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about the author
  • Laurie Halse Anderson is the New York Times-bestselling author who writes for kids of all ages. Known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity, her work has earned numerous ALA and state awards. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists. Mother of four and wife of one, Laurie lives in Northern New York, where she likes to watch the snow fall as she writes.
  • www.goodreads.com

Laurie Halse Anderson

who is laurie halse anderson
Who is Laurie Halse Anderson?

Laurie Halse Anderson pretended she was a polar bear when she walked to school through the snow of Syracuse, New York. As a little girl, she would pound away at her father's old typewriter for hours, writing newspaper columns, stories, and letters. She loved watching her father write poetry and reading the funnies on the floor of his office. Laurie fell in love with words when her second-grade teacher taught her how to write haiku. Her favorite book is the dictionary, which is a good thing because she is a terrible speller. She tried to read every book in her school library, a heavenly place. She loves librarians! One of her favorite books was Heidi. This led to curiosity about foreign cultures. As a senior in high school, she was an American Field Service exchange student to Denmark, where she lived on a pig farm. She skipped both her prom and graduation ceremonies and had a great time there. She can still speak Danish.

Laurie Halse Anderson never intended to be an author. At Georgetown University, she majored in foreign languages and linguistics. She hit the real world with no idea of what kind of work she wanted to do. She tried everything, including cleaning banks, milking cows and working as a stockbroker. She hated all of it. Working as a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer was a slight improvement, but she eventually quit to write books. After eight long, rejection-filled years, she has finally qualified as an overnight success.

Laurie's books for children and teenagers have attracted a lot of attention. Her first novel, Speak, was a National Book Award Finalist, a Michael L. Printz Honor book, a New York Times bestseller, and an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults. Publisher's Weekly, called Speak "a stunning first novel," in which Ms. Anderson "uses keen observations and vivid imagery to pull readers into the head of an isolated teenager." Speak has been translated into sixteen foreign languages, including Chinese and Catalan. In 2005, the movie version was released. In addition to novels, Laurie writes chapter books for elementary age children and picture books for the pre-school set. She received the Margaret A. Edwards Award, given by the American Library Association for significant and lasting achievement in young adult literature, in 2009.

Laurie lives in Northern New York with her husband, Scot, and their dog, Kezzie. Scot designed and built a writing cottage for Laurie, where she writes daily. Along with writing, she enjoys gardening, running and hanging with her family.

From Wikipedia .com—but biography information provided by Anderson and her representative


What is Speak About????

  • Main character: Melinda Sordino
  • Themes: Isolation, friendship, courage, cliques and stereotypes
  • Setting: Modern day high school in average size town
  • Point of View: Told from first person/narrative point of view
  • Conflicts: Man v. Man, Man v. Society, Man v. Self

“What’s eating Melinda Sordino?

For one, everybody at school is mad at her. Over the summer she went to a big party and ended up calling the cops, getting a lot of her friends and classmates into trouble for drinking underage.

In middle school, Melinda was popular and a good student. Now in her freshman year, her grades have slipped and her friends don’t acknowledge her existence. The only companion she finds quickly abandons her to join a clique.

Her parents aren’t any help. Their only way of communication with Melinda is through Post-It notes written on their way out to work.

That’s all pretty bad. But there seems to be something else going on with Melinda and she won’t open up about it…..In fact, she stops speaking altogether until thing that is eating her is finally brought to light and shows its ugly face to everyone…”