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 are best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the skinniest. But what comes after size zero and size double-zero? When Cassie succumbs to the demons within, Lia feels she is being haunted by her friends restless spirit.
In her most emotionally wrenching, lyrically written book since the multiple-award-winning Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lias descent into the powerful vortex of anorexia, and her painful path toward recovery.
So she tells me, the words dribbling out with the cranberry muffin crumbs, commas dunked in her coffee.
She tells me in four sentences. No, five.
I cant let me hear this, but its too late. The facts sneak in and stab me. When she gets to the worst part
body found in a motel room, alone
my walls go up and my doors lock. I nod like Im listening, like were communicating, and she never knows the difference.
Its not nice when girls die.
We didnt want you hearing it at school or on the news. Jennifer crams the last hunk of muffin into her mouth. Are you sure youre okay?
I open the dishwasher and lean into the cloud of steam that floats out of it. I wish I could crawl in and curl up between a bowl and a plate. My stepmother Jennifer could lock the door, twist the dial to scald, and press on.
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 is hard to believe it's fiction and not an actual memoir... Lia and Cassie's story opens the door to discussions of issues all teens struggle with: finding their identity, belonging and making wise choices.
(Reviewed by Vy Armour).
Full Review (1171 words).
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:
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