Laurie Halse Anderson
Award-winning children's and young adult 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. She is also the author of Ashes, Fever 1793, Catalyst, ForgeWintergirlsTwistedProm, and many other titles.


On July 11, 2009, the Young Adult Library Services Association presented Laurie with the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award for Catalyst, Fever 1793, and Speak. In doing so, YALSA “recognizes an iconic and classic storyteller who in her character development has created for teens a body of work that continues to be widely read and cherished by a diverse audience.” In 2008, Laurie received the ALAN Award from the high school English teachers of America for her “outstanding contributions to the field of adolescent literature.” The American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA) chose Laurie to be their School Library Month spokesperson for April of 2010.


Since her groundbreaking novel Speak was published in 1999, Laurie has spoken in front of hundreds of thousands of teens, college students, and adults. She is often asked to discuss the challenges of speaking to teens and pre-teens about challenging topics such as sexual assault and eating disorders, and censorship.

Download Bio

For the past five years, Hayley Kincaid and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.

Simon & Schuster

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.

Simon & Schuster

During the summer of 1793, Mattie Cook lives above the family coffee shop with her widowed mother and grandfather. Mattie spends her days avoiding chores and making plans to turn the family business into the finest Philadelphia has ever seen. But then the fever breaks out. Disease sweeps the streets, destroying everything in its path and turning Mattie's world upside down. At her feverish mother's insistence, Mattie flees the city with her grandfather. But she soon discovers that the sickness is everywhere, and Mattie must learn quickly how to survive in a city turned frantic with disease.

Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

The critically acclaimed, award-winning, modern classic Speak is now a stunning graphic novel."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. 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

The Power of Speaking Up: The Writing of and Reaction to Speak
Censorship in America: Why Are Adults so Afraid of the Real World?
Books Save Lives: An Author Reflects on Lessons Learned From a Generation of Readers
  • An Author’s Life or Why You Should Probably Pay Attention in English Class

    CNN and Entertainment Weekly write about the 15th anniversary of Laurie’s groundbreaking novel Speak.

    Check out how Laurie is changing the dialogue about sexual assault.

    Read a conversation with Laurie from BookRiot.

    Learn more about Laurie on her website and follow her on Twitter.

    Praise for Laurie Halse Anderson

    "Laurie Halse Anderson writes a lot of fiction, but her authenticity spoke to our students on a much deeper level. It was so incredibly obvious that she writes for kids, about kids, and with the motive to help real kids with real problems. She is an authentic soul."
    - Polly Hanson, Salamanca School

    Praise for Laurie Halse Anderson's work

    “Anderson’s novels . . . speak for the still-silent among us, and force all of us to acknowledge the real and painful truths that are too dangerous to ignore.”
    New York Times

    “The Impossible Knife of Memory isn’t always an easy read-Anderson’s gritty, authentic look at PTSD is by turns painful and heartbreaking-but it’s an important one.”
    Entertainment Weekly

    “Laurie Halse Anderson is one of the best known writers of literature for young adults and children in the world.”
    —Scott Simon, NPR's Weekend Edition

    “Does ANYONE write troubled teen characters with the realism, grace, and soul of Laurie Halse Anderson?”
    —Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of The Storyteller and Between the Lines

    “With her trademark hope, humor, and heart-breaking realism, Laurie Halse Anderson has given us a roadmap to heal. She is a treasure.”
    —Stephen Chobsky, New York Times bestselling author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower