Congratulations, Laurie Halse Anderson!

The talented Laurie Halse Anderson (halseanderson ) just shared the news that her historical novel CHAINS has won the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, and I couldn’t be happier.  My 7th graders and I will be reading the final chapters tomorrow and Friday, and I was excited about that even before I heard today’s news.  CHAINS is about Isabel, a slave girl trapped in New York City and torn between Loyalists and Patriots as the Revolutionary War  ravages the city.  Yesterday, President Obama (I love writing that) gave us a brilliant connection to this chapter of American history when he quoted Thomas Paine’s "The Crisis" in his Inaugural Address.

"Let it be told to the future world that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet it."

Just days after Paine shared those words, General George Washington did what no one believed was possible — defeated the Hessians at Trenton after the famous river crossing immortalized in this painting by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze.

      George Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1851 – Metropolitan Museum of Art

In my classroom this week, we’ll be talking about turning points and history and hope.  And we’re going to write letters through time, to tell Isabel and Curzon from CHAINS all about what happened in Washington, DC on a cold day in January, 2009.  We’ll let them know about Laurie’s award, too.  On both counts, I know they will be so very proud.

8 Replies on “Congratulations, Laurie Halse Anderson!

  1. I’m happy for your 7th graders that they get to read CHAINS with you! It’s in my TBR pile. Your plan to have the kids write letters to Isabel and Curzon to tell them about President Obama gave me goosebumps.

    I love saying it, too: President Obama.

  2. Hooray for Laurie!

    That letter-writing project is gonna be great! I’ve been to Washington Crossing State Park many times, and have seen the boats there – can’t recall if any of them are original, but they’re the same sort of boats, and they still use them every Christmas to reenact the crossing. They run a dress rehearsal the week before Christmas. One year, I was driving not all that far from there and was surprised to see George Washington in the driver’s seat of a pickup truck (or was it an SUV?) at a traffic light. Full hair, makeup and uniform.

  3. Hey lady. I was going to send you WINTERGIRLS today, but I seem to have lost it. That is two (2) copies that I have lost. I don’t know what is wrong with me. If I find it, I will send it to you. If not… well, I tried!