Harnessing the power of books to teach and inspire through a shared reading experience.
Laurie Halse Anderson
Laurie Halse Anderson is a New York Times bestselling author whose writing resonates with young readers, teens and adults. Laurie will be speaking about our featured title Speak and her book Shout, a searing poetic memoir and call to action. Book sale and signing to follow. Please note that Laurie's talk may include the discussion of rape, sexual assault, mental illness, depression and other sensitive topics. YWCA advocates will be available to provide support at this event.
"Speak up for yourself—we want to know what you have to say." From the first moment of her freshman year, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party.
Inspired by her fans and enraged by how little in our culture has changed since her groundbreaking novel Speak was published, Anderson has written a critically acclaimed poetry memoir that is as vulnerable as it is rallying, as timely as it is timeless. In free verse, she shares reflections, rants and calls to action, woven among deeply personal stories from her life that she's never written about before.
Twenty-three years after its publication, this timeless novel about consent and finding the courage to speak up for yourself is reimagined as a graphic novel. Powerful artwork brings the novel to life visually for both new audiences and fans of this modern day young adult classic.
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Panel Discussion: It Happened, What's Next?
Content Warning: This video includes honest discussion of rape, sexual assault, mental illness, depression and other sensitive topics.
Meet the professionals at the YWCA West Central Michigan located in downtown Grand Rapids. A nurse examiner, legal advocate and crisis advocate speak on how they assist survivors of abuse and sexual assault, offer support groups and counseling services, aid in finding emergency shelter and housing services and much more.
Preschool Community Reads
Grandville and Wyoming preschoolers will read Don’t Touch My Hair by Sharee Miller. Their accompanying art projects will be displayed at the Grandville and Wyoming Branches starting April 1. Preschool art can also be viewed at the Grandville Branch for the city’s annual Art Walk on April 28.