On October 23, we celebrate Laurie Halse Anderson’s 58th birthday. This highly influential author is most celebrated for her young adult novels, even earning the Margaret A. Edwards Award from the American Library Association. While her most well-known work is her debut novel, Speak, that is far from all she has written. Thus, we have a SparkPress recommendation based on your favorite Laurie Halse Anderson novel.
If you loved Speak, read Bear Witness by Melissa Clark
In Anderson’s most iconic novel, Melinda is forced to attend high school with her rapist. She retreats into herself, experiencing isolation and traumatic flashbacks. Similarly, Paige is experiencing flashbacks to her best friend’s abduction. As Paige grapples with this and the loss of innocence that comes with such a traumatic experience, she attempts to move forward and learn to trust again.
If you loved Fever, 1793, read Resistant by Rachael Sparks
While Fever, 1793 is a historical fiction story following a young woman during one of the largest epidemics in American history, Resistant is more speculative. It’s a sci-fi novel that feels almost post-apocalyptic. It also follows a young woman, Rory, who survived the antibiotic crisis that killed millions. When she discovers that her blood may hold the cure, it’s a race against time to develop a cure before the government gets ahold of her.
If you loved Catalyst, read The Frontman by Ron Bahar
One of the most compelling elements of Catalyst was the exploration of the division of self. It was more than just a story of a girl who didn’t get into MIT and took in her neighbors when their house burnt down. She divided her life into Science and Religion, into Good Kate and Bad Kate. Similarly, Ron divided his life into Music and Medicine, into Dutiful Son and Rebellious Teenager.
If you loved Twisted, read A Song for the Road by Rayne Lacko
Tyler was just an average kid who faded into the background—until he got busted for graffiti. He soon catches the attention of Bethany, the queen bee, and launches into popularity. Carter was also just an average kid until he stole his mom’s secret cash stash to buy the guitar his father pawned. He hitches a ride with queen bee Kaia, who he continues to send her letters and videos to on his travels. She shares these with their classmates, launching him into popularity as well.
If you loved Wintergirls, read Within Reach by Jessica Stevens
When Lia lost her best friend Cassie, her destructive behavior takes a turn for the worse. She shuts everyone out, focusing on calorie-counting to control her world. If the themes of anorexia and isolation resonated with you, the story of Lila and her struggle with anorexia after her boyfriend’s death may be a good fit. But Lila is sure that Xan is trying to tell her something from beyond the grave.
If you love the Seeds of America Trilogy, read Sarah’s War by Eugenia Lovett West
Seeds of America provided different perspectives than we normally get in books about the Revolutionary War. It was written from the perspectives of two escaped slaves trying to pass as free. In Sarah’s War we get another new perspective—a young woman spying for the Patriots, who changes sides when she falls for a Loyalist. Follow Sarah as she learns to flirt information out of soldiers and feeds information to General Washington.