The event, free and open to the public, ties in with the college’s “Arts, Identity and Diaspora” Artswego series on the experiences of those displaced by economic, cultural or political hardships. Halse’s forthcoming young-adult novel, “Chains,” follows the struggle for freedom and dignity of Isabel, an 18th century slave girl owned by wealthy New Yorkers.
A longtime Central New York resident, Anderson earned her associate degree at Onondaga Community College—paying her way in part by milking cows on a dairy farm—and a bachelor’s in language and linguistics from Georgetown University.
She considered writing as just a hobby through her younger years. After college, Anderson joined the Society of Childrenâ€™s Book Writers and Illustrators, which helped her to find a critique group to help her start her career as a writer.
Piling up rejection letters from agents, she toiled as a freelance writer until penning her 1999 book “Speak.” The young-adult novel became a New York Times bestseller, National Book Award Finalist and one of Booklist’s “Top 10 First Novels of 1999.” The topical work also saw widespread use at schools and colleges around the country.
Anderson has written young adult novels (“Wintergirls,” “Twisted,” “Prom,” “Catalyst” and “Speak”), childrenâ€™s books (“Independent Dames,” “The Hair of Zoe Fleefenbacker Goes to School” and “Thank You Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving”) and historical fiction novels (“Chains” and “Fever 1793”). She writes the “Vet Volunteers” children’s book series, influenced by her experiences working with animals.
Along the way, she has earned multiple Best Book for Young Adults awards from the American Library Association, as well as International Reading Association Teacher’s Choice honors and the Once Upon a World Children’s Book Award from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, along with many other international, national and state honors.
For more information, visit her blog and Web site at www.writerlady.com.
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(Posted: Sep 29, 2009)