Laurie Halse Anderson Quotes

53 of the best book quotes from Laurie Halse Anderson
“Poppa fought like a lion when they came for him, the strongest lion, roaring; it took five of them with hickory clubs, and then Momma fainted, and I caught baby Ruth.”
“Christmas at home had meant eating Momma’s bread pudding with maple syrup and nutmeg, and reading the Gospel of Matthew out loud whilst Ruth played in Momma’s lap. I was miles away from celebrating like that.”
“She did not look into my eyes, did not see the lion inside. She did not see the me of me, the Isabel.”
“I was lost . . . but it was like looking at a knot, knowing it was a knot, but not knowing how to untie it. I had no map for this life.”
“He freed me from the stocks. He is my friend. My only friend.”
“Being loyal to the one who owned me gave me prickly thoughts, like burrs trapped in my shift, pressing into my skin with every step.”
“One by one they dragged us forward, and a man shouted out prices to the crowd of likely buyers and baby Ruth cried, and Momma shook like the last leaf on a tree, and Poppa… and Poppa, he didn’t want them to bust up our family like we were sheep or hogs.”
“My momma and poppa appeared from the shadows. They flew to me and wrapped their arms around me and cooled my face with their ghost tears.”
“Momma said we had to fight the evil inside us by overcoming it with goodness.”
“I worked as a puppet trained to scrub and carry, curtsy and nod.”
“Half my roll disappeared in one bite. It was the first decent food I’d had since Jenny’s kitchen. Curzon watched me without saying a word. When I licked the butter off my fingers, he gave me his roll.”
“My belly ached again, as if I were still at sea and the waves were throwing me off balance.”
“It is honorable to help a friend in need.”
“I could not eat or drink a thing for my belly was tied up with fear. My thoughts chased round and round my brainpan.”
“I could not visit the prison daily. I was sure to be caught and punished. But I had to visit the prison daily. Curzon’s life depended on it.”
“A scar is a sign of strength . . . The sign of a survivor.”
“We couldn’t take Momma’s shells, nor Ruth’s baby doll made of flannel bits and calico, nor the wooden bowl Poppa made for me. Nothing belonged to us.”
“My remembery called up the feel of being locked in the stocks, of my face being burnt, of him watching me from across the courtyard; him watching out for me. ‘Twas Curzon who made sure I survived. ‘Twas he who had been my steadfast friend since the day they brought me here.”
“‘When people don’t express themselves, they die one piece at a time. You’d be shocked at how many adults are really dead inside - walking through their days with no idea who they are, just waiting for a heart attack or cancer or a Mack truck to come along and finish the job. It’s the saddest thing I know.’”
“It is easier not to say anything. Shut your trap, button your lip, can it. All that crap you hear on TV about communication and expressing feelings is a lie. Nobody really wants to hear what you have to say.”
“This closet is abandoned - it has no purpose, no name. It is the perfect place for me.”
“Deprived of Victim, Mom and Dad holler at each other. I turn up the music to drown out the noise.”
“I close my eyes, this is what I’ve been dreading. As we leave the last stop, I am the only person sitting alone.”
“You don’t like anything. You are the most depressed person I’ve ever met, and excuse me for saying this, but you are no fun to be around and I think you need professional help.”
“I want to confess everything, to hand over the guilt and mistake and anger to someone else.”
“I see a few friends - people I used to think were my friends - but they look away.”
“I don’t want to be cool. I want to grab her by the neck and shake her and scream at her to stop treating me like dirt. She didn’t even bother to find out the truth – what kind of friend is that?”
“‘This is where you can find your soul, if you dare. Where you can touch that part of you that you’ve never dared look at before.’”
“If an entire nation could see its freedom, why not a girl?”
“We fall into clans: Jocks, Country Clubbers, Idiot Savants, Cheerleaders, Human Waste, Eurotrash, Future Fascists of America, Big Hair Chix, the Marthas, Suffering Artists, Thespians, Goths, Shredders. I am clanless.”
“I open up a paper clip and scratch it across the inside of my left wrist. Pitiful. If a suicide attempt is a cry for help, then what is this? A whimper, a peep? I draw little windowcracks of blood, etching line after line until it stops hurting. It looks like I arm-wrestled a rosebush.”
“It wasn’t my fault. He hurt me. It wasn’t my fault. And I’m not going to let it kill me. I can grow.”
“They swallow her whole and she never looks back at me. Not once.”
“He says a million things without saying a word. I make a note to study David Petrakis. I have never heard a more eloquent silence.”
“The tears dissolve the last block of ice in my throat. I feel the frozen stillness melt down through the inside of me, dripping shards of ice that vanish in a puddle of sunlight on the stained floor. Words float up.”
“I’m sure I was a huge disappointment. I’m not pretty or smart or athletic. I’m just like them - an ordinary drone dressed in secrets and lies.”
“You’re a good kid. I think you have a lot to say. I’d like to hear it.”
“I don’t know where you picked up that slacker attitude, but you certainly didn’t learn it at home. Probably from the bad influences up here.”
“There is a beast in my gut, I can hear it scraping away at my ribs. Even if I dump the memory, it will stay with me, staining me.”
“My belly flipped with worry . . . It was up to me to take care of things, to find a place for us. I had to be bold.”
“Melancholy held me hostage, and the bees built a hive of sadness in my soul. Dark honey filled up inside me, drowning out my thoughts and making it hard to move my eyes and hands.”
“Black people were treated different than white people, that was plain to see, but Eliza said nobody could tell her what to do or where to go, and no one would ever, ever beat her again.
“Grandfather said I was a Daughter of Liberty, a real American girl. I could steer my own ship.”
“A scullery maid? Ridiculous. I was Matilda Cook, daughter of Lucille, granddaughter of Captain William Farnsworth Cook, of the Pennsylvania Fifth Regiment. I could read, write, and figure numbers faster than most. I was not afraid of hard work. I would set my own course.”
“Early morning was the only time I felt as if there were ghosts nearby, memories of the weeks of fear. That’s when I found myself listening for Polly’s giggle or Grandfather’s voice. Sometimes they felt so close. Close enough to tell me I should stop dawdling and get to work.”
“My father had only been dead two years, so Mother knew just what lay in Eliza’s heart. They both supped sorrow with a big spoon, that’s what Mother said. It took years, but the smile slowly returned to Eliza’s face.”
“I held my breath and waited for the earth to stop spinning. The sun need not rise again. There was no reason for the rivers to flow. Birds would never sing.”
“Tears threatened again. I sniffed and tried to control my face. No one could ever tell what Mother thought or felt by looking at her. This was a useful trait. I needed to learn how to do it. There were so many things she had tried to teach me, but I didn’t listen.”
“The shape of my face looked for all the world like Mother’s, her nose, her mouth. But my eyes were my own.”
“A few blocks south lay the Walnut Street Prison, where Blanchard had flown that remarkable balloon. From the prison’s courtyard it rose, a yellow silk bubble escaping earth. I vowed to do that one day, slip free of the ropes that held me. Nathaniel Benson had heard me say it, but did not laugh.”
“But it is a gross injustice that my gala should suffer because the lower class falls ill.”
“I returned the box to its hiding place. It could be worse, I thought. The house is still standing. We’re alive. Mother and Eliza must be somewhere safe, I had to believe that. The fever would soon be over, and our lives would return to normal. I just had to stay clever and strong and find something to eat. A tear surprised me by rolling down my cheek. ‘None of that, Mattie girl,’ I whispered to myself as I scrubbed the tear away. ‘This is not the time to be childish.‘”
“The men around me moved their lips and then gave voice. Our voices rose together as one, proclaiming faith, joining in grief. At the end of the reading, some crossed themselves, others wiped their eyes. I stood straight and tall.”

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