Laurie Halse Anderson: Guidance Counselor

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Honor Society members: stoners. Cheerleaders: cutters. Debate-team members: shoplifters. Mom's pills are there for the taking. Dad's vodka makes first period easier.

"High school is where the zombification process becomes deadly," according to senior Hayley Kincain, first-person narrator of Laurie Halse Anderson's latest young-adult novel, The Impossible Knife of Memory (Viking). But Hayley herself is no zombie. She's a reader's guide to the challenges she's facing and a voice for non-zombies everywhere facing the same.

"People who have to announce that they are trustworthy deserve to be lied to," Hayley wisely observes in these pages.

But as shown by her successful series of novels — starting with the critically acclaimed Speak — Laurie Halse Anderson hasn't had to announce she's trustworthy. Her work has proven it; her large following attests to it.

On a separate topic: the work that goes into writing — her writing especially: Follow Anderson's blog posts on her website for some free and first-rate guidance counseling. See Anderson for yourself when she visits The Booksellers at Laurelwood to discuss and sign The Impossible Knife of Memory on Sunday, January 19th, from 2 to 3 p.m.

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