“Dead girl walking,” the boys say in the halls.
“Tell us your secret,” the girls whisper, one toilet to another.
I am that girl.
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.
Lia and Cassie were best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies. But now Cassie is dead. Lia's mother is busy saving other people's lives. Her father is away on business. Her step-mother is clueless. And the voice inside Lia's head keeps telling her to remain in control, stay strong, lose more, weigh less. If she keeps on going this way—thin, thinner, thinnest—maybe she'll disappear altogether.
I have been wanting to read this book for quite some time now and I am glad I read it. Eating disorders have always interested me because it is so far removed from my life experience. It is difficult to understand why someone would chose to keep losing weight when it was dangerous for their bodies and painful for them. I would hate to be hungry all the time. Two points that I found interesting were 1- Lia was unable to do anything else in her life. Because she was starving herself, her body was not able to do anything. She could not focus in school, she could barely drive, she could not maintain relationships. Her only friend died and so she was friendless. She did not date or hold down a job. Nothing. Her body was in survival mode and she was not really living. 2- It seemed that her eating was not just about being thin but about being in control. She felt out of control in her own life and felt that she had no influence on the relationships around her. Her controlling her body and her calorie intake gave her some measure of control. Or so she thought.
I was also surprised that I was occasionally out of patience with Lia. I feel that I am usually fairly compassionate toward other people. I believe that people are good and are doing the best they can. But sometimes Lia's behavior was so self-destructive and she was so out of touch with reality, that I would feel impatient with her.
Lia keeps trying to get thinner, thinner, thinner.
Information about the author
Laurie Halse Anderson is the New York Times bestselling author who writes for kids of all ages. Known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity, her work has earned numerous ALA and state awards. Two of her books, SPEAK and CHAINS, were National Book Award finalists. Mother of four and wife of one, Laurie lives in Northern New York, where she likes to watch the snow fall as she writes.
physical health. psychology.
*Talk about all the things that happen to the human body when it starves.
age 12 and up
The subject matter of anorexia can be quite disturbing. So there is a possibility a parent may object to this book.
It is best to be prepared for a book challenge before it is challenged. It is important to read the book all the way through and to have read both positive and negative reviews of the book from professionals and teens as well. Be aware of the library’s collection policy. Also check for any awards the book may have won. It would be beneficial to see how other library’s may have handled challenges for this particular book in the past.This book has won quite a few awards. An ALA/YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers (2010),Cybils Award Nominee for Young Adult Fiction (2009), TAYSHAS High School Reading List (2010), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Young Adult Fiction (2009), ALA Teens' Top Ten (2010)ALA Teens' Top Ten (2010), Milwaukee County Teen Book Award (2010), Michigan Library Association Thumbs Up! Award Nominee (2010), Iowa High School Book Award Nominee (2011), RT Reviewers' Choice Award Nominee for Best Young Adult Novel (2009)
I wanted a realistic fiction book about mental health/body image problem. This book is a great fit.