Author Laurie Halse Anderson was born today.
Laurie Halse Anderson, the New York Times-bestselling author who is known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity, was born on this day in 1961. Her work has earned numerous national and state awards, as well as international recognition. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists. Laurie was honored with the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award given by YALSA division of the American Library Association for her “significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature…”.
In the novel Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, the main character lists "the first ten lies they tell you in high school":
1. We are here to help you.
2. You will have time to get to your class before the bell rings.
3. The dress code will be enforced.
4. No smoking is allowed on school grounds.
5. Our football team will win the championship this year.
6. We expect more of you here.
7. Guidance counselors are always available to listen.
8. Your schedule was created with you in mind.
9. Your locker combination is private.
10. These will be the years you look back on fondly.
Discuss with the students if some of these "lies" were similar to the ones they have heard, as well as how they are different. Then, ask students to brainstorm their own personal list of "ten lies they tell you in high school," complete with the truth, or their views on the truth.
Have students share, as a class, the "lies" they have been told in high school and how they've learned differently. Consider publishing a handmade classroom book with the lists of ten lies created by each student, and using it as a "guide to high school" for future students.
Laurie Halse Anderson's site has information on her life, books, and censorship, among other resources.
This site contains biographical information and an interview with the author.
Anderson's playful side emerges when she looks at real history and women who played a role in it.