An Evening at the 92Y with Laurie Halse Anderson


The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
Published by Viking Juvenile

The Impossible Knife of Memory is a heart wrenching story about a girl and her dad who has PTSD. Hayley has been struggling with her father for five years when he moves her to his old family home. She hopes this will be a fresh start for both of them. Hayley meets Finn, who has his own issues, and Gracie, a friend from her past who she doesn’t remember. Ms Anderson skillfully draws us into Hayley’s world populated with zombies and freaks and people who are good for her dad and people who will bring him down. At different points, the story feels hopeless – that there is just too much to overcome, but Ms Anderson’s story – Hayley’s story – ends with hope, with the belief that hard stories can have a positive ending. This is an amazing read and I recommend it for every teen – boy and girl. For another perspective on returning vets from the view of a brother, read What a Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt – another powerful story.

My daughter and I were lucky enough to be in NYC the night Laurie Halse Anderson spoke at the 92Y. As always, her story is heart-felt and powerful which informs her books and keeps her readers enthralled. My daughter read Speak, loved it and can hardly wait to read Wintergirls and The Impossible Knife of Memory. Ms Anderson – your readers thank you from the bottom of our hearts for words that have transformed our lives.

About Ruth Compton

Youth Librarian by day; intellectual freedom fighter by night! Book Reviewer for Capitol Choices & ALA's GLBTRT. Parent of a teen reader! View all posts by Ruth Compton

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