The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

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The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson For my independent reading project, I chose to read The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson. Anderson was born on October 23, 1961 in Potsdam, New York. Through her early life, Anderson struggled with emotional stress stemming from the divorce of her parents. This struggle played out in her adult life, as Anderson divorced her first husband, Greg Anderson, and consequently suffered from psychological trauma. Despite this, upon meeting and marrying her childhood sweetheart, Scot Larrabee, Anderson channeled her emotions into novels. In her writing, Anderson incorporates her experiences with family, friends and the surrounding world to connect to a variety of readers. Anderson has written many acclaimed young adult novels including Speak (Golden Kite Award, Edgar Allan Poe Award, Los Angeles Times Book Prize), Catalyst, Twisted, Wintergirls and The Impossible Knife of Memory. In addition, Anderson has also written historical fiction books including Fever - 1793 and the Seeds of America Series. She has been an on and off writer for children’s stories. In 2009, Anderson won the ALA Margaret A. Edwards award for her powerful contribution to literature. The Impossible Knife of Memory documents the story of teenager Haley Kincain and her father Andy. When Andy returns from the Iraq war, he is only able to find work at a trucking company. Regardless, once Andy witnesses how constant travel is negatively affecting Haley’s life – both academically and socially – , Andy resolves to take Haley back to their hometown. When Haley starts attending the high school, she cannot focus due to her concerns regarding her father’s PTSD. However, once Haley meets one of her classmates, Finn, she realizes that she may be able to confide in someone with similar experiences. Powerful, gripping and hard to put down,
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