If your definition of a great read is one that takes you places you've never been or causes you to have an unusual vicarious experience, then you'd agree that Wintergirls
is great fiction. The "place" author Laurie Halse Anderson takes us is not an exotic setting in a distant world, but instead deep into the mind of young Lia, who suffers from an eating disorder. Lia's first-person narration is so authentic it's hard to believe it's fiction and not an actual memoir.
Eighteen-year old Lia's voice is often beautiful in its raw honesty, but more often disturbing and frightening. Her negative self-talk caused me great anguish, as it reminded me of the pressure many girls feel to be thin. To be perfect. A female reader might even recognize herself to some degree. I did, as I recalled my teen years and the jeans I needed to fit into, the prom dress, the bathing suit in...
Beyond the Book
Anderson Wins Teen Lit Award
Laurie Halse Anderson is the winner of the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award for her novels Catalyst
, Fever 1793
, and Speak
. She will be honored at the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) 2009 Annual ALA Conference in Chicago, July 9-15, 2009.
Criteria used to select winners of this award are as follows:
- Does the book(s) help adolescents to become aware of themselves and to answer their questions about their role and importance in relationships, society and in the world?
- Is the book(s) of acceptable literary quality?
- Does the book(s) satisfy the curiosity of young adults and yet help them thoughtfully to build a philosophy of life?
- Is the book(s)...