October 23rd, 2019
On October 22nd, the Hatboro-Horsham Educational Foundation (HHEF) sponsored author Laurie Halse Anderson to speak to Hatboro-Horsham High School students. Anderson is a New York Times bestselling author whose writings appeal to young readers, teens, and adults. Combined, her books have sold more than 8 million copies. Anderson published her first novel Speak back in 1999.
Anderson’s two children attended the Hatboro-Horsham School District making it all the more reason to bring her back into the school to speak.
Anderson’s presentation focused on not only her books but also the topic of sexual consent. Anderson is a strong advocate for social changes in sexual abuse victims. She spoke to students about what consent means and gave a fuller definition.
It’s been 20 years since Anderson’s groundbreaking novel Speak was published — it tells the story of Melinda, a freshman in high school who stops speaking after a sexual assault.
Anderson revealed that she was raped when she was 13, and it took more than two decades before she could find the words to talk or write about it. After suffering depression for years, she reached out and sought help. Her therapy helped her become the strong woman and author she is today.
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) is helping survivors through any hard times. Anderson suggests calling their hotline for any help or questions(800-656-4673).