Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Laurie Halse Anderson visits Michigan

Last night I had the privilege of attending a Laurie Halse Anderson signing at Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor. If you didn't already know this about me, I am a huge Laurie Halse Anderson fan. Her books transcend age, gender, and genre preferences. Her middle grade novel Fever 1793 is the reason I was able to get so many of my students to find enjoyment in historical fiction, which most kids find mind-numbingly boring.

Last night she was here to talk about her newest book, The Impossible Knife of Memory, which I have reviewed here on the blog. As always, her words were heartfelt and judging from the standing room only crowd as well as the variety of ages in attendance, worthy of her rockstar author status.
Standing room only for Laurie Halse Anderson
Some of my favorite moments from last night
  • When, after Laurie had mentioned that people have criticized Wintergirls as being a trigger for girls with eating disorders, a young girl raised her hand and said, "I just want you to know that my sister had an eating disorder and she read Wintergirls and it helped her." 
  • Listening to young people tell Anderson how much they hated historical fiction until they read her books. 
  • Hearing Anderson's story of why she hated English class and why she was never supposed to be an author is the perfect case for why choice reading in the classroom matters.
  • When I went up to the desk to get my books signed, Laurie said without any hesitation, "Hey Beth, how are you?" Ummm... Laurie Halse Anderson knows who I am. When did this become my life?
Favorite quotes of the night
  • "I tell English teachers to ease up on the dead rich white guys."
  • "Teenagers don't like to read books that suck."
  • "I want to be known as the queen of the elephant in the room."

If you ever have a chance to listen to Laurie Halse Anderson speak, do yourself a favor and make sure that happens. You absolutely will not regret it. And if you haven't read any of her books, make sure that happens too.

1 comment:

  1. You got a great pic with Laurie. She's such a fabulous speaker. Best Monday night ever!