Posts Tagged 'anorexia'

The List by Vivian Siohban

thelist

 

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

333 p.

RAC Book:  Yes

2014-2015 Iowa High School Award Winner

Every year a list is posted the Monday before Homecoming listing the four prettiest and four ugliest girls, one for each grade respectively.  Each chapter follows one of the eight girls and how they cope with the existence of this list.  Danielle, the ugliest freshmen, must deal with the fallout of how her boyfriend handles the news that she was voted on this list.  Meanwhile, Abby, the prettiest freshmen faces possibly not being allowed to go to the dance at all due to grades.  The “ugliest” sophomore is actually a cute, but very mean girl who is deemed “ugliest” on the inside.  The “prettiest” sophomore girl is a girl who has been home-schooled for her entire life and is trying to find independence from her mom with great difficulty.  The prettiest junior, Bridget, feels pressured into an eating disorder in order to maintain her image while the ugliest junior reacts quite strongly and refuses to shower or change her clothes for the entire week after the list comes out.  The ugliest senior is the first ever to earn that particular honor for all four years of high school and she pretends she is totally fine with it.  The prettiest senior feels the pressure to follow in her sister’s footsteps who was the prettiest senior the year before and seemed to fall apart afterward.  Each chapter follows a different girl as she navigates through this very difficult week.

This book has earned many awards for good reason.  This book delves into many serious issues for high school girls including insecurity, the fear of being excluded, worrying about what others think, eating disorders, dating problems, academic trouble, lying, and problems at home.  No one on the list finds happiness no matter which side of the list she is on.  While the circumstances around the list may seem unbelievable, the issues surrounding it are completely believable and exist at every high school.  A great book to recommend to high school girls, especially ones who are having trouble adjusting.

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Three Willows by Ann Brashares

cover-3-willows

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Age Level: 12 and up

# of Pages: 318 p.

RAC Book: Yes

Ama, Jo, and Polly are three friends who met in 3rd grade and have drifted a bit over the last few years. In the summer before their freshman year of high school they each take a different journey. Ama reluctantly takes an opportunity to go on a wilderness adventure in which she can earn school credit.   In order to get credit, however, she has to survive to the end and rappel off of a mountain. Jo goes to her family’s summer home with her mother and gets a job at a restaurant. Polly decides to go to a modeling clinic. Ama has a difficult time adjusting to her wilderness adventure because she is weak, slow, and seems to get hurt a lot. She thinks about giving up and going home several times, but she doesn’t feel comfortable talking to anyone about her real feelings. Jo realizes that her parents’ marriage is in trouble and makes some bad choices over the summer in order to avoid dealing with it. Polly feels very lonely with no friends and a mother who spends all of her time in her workshop. She responds by putting herself on a strict diet. As the three struggle with their personal problems they all realize how important it is to keep your true friends close.

Those who were fans of the original sisterhood books will like this story. The writing style is the same and it is easy to care about these three girls and the struggles they have to deal with over this very important summer. The girls from the traveling pants series are mentioned briefly, but it is not a sequel to those books. Instead, it is a book about friendship with three new girls. These girls are a bit younger than the traveling pants girls, but they will find an audience who cares about them and wants to hear what happens to them after they start high school. The transition to high school is a time of many changes for young girls and that is illustrated beautifully in this story as each girl struggles with different challenges and finds inner strength she never knew she had. Brashares knows how to write very relatable and interesting teenage girls.


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