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A Face for Picasso: Coming of Age with Crouzon Syndrome



by
Ariel Henley

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Macmillan
Imprint
Farrar, Straus & Giroux
ISBN
9780374314071

Awards and Honors
2022 Schneider Family Book Award for Teens - Honor Book
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Medical: Graphic Descriptions , Violence: Sexual Assault/Rape Reference/Discussion , Violence: Suicide Reference/Discussion , Medical: Eating Disorder , Language: Mild Language , Language: Infrequent Use , Sexual Content: Reference/Discussion
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Won in a preempt, this is an unflinching and powerful YA memoir about growing up with a severe craniofacial anomaly.

I am ugly. There's a mathematical equation to prove it.

At only eight months old, identical twin sisters Ariel and Zan were diagnosed with Crouzon syndrome -- a rare condition where the bones in the head fuse prematurely. They were the first twins known to survive it.

Growing up, Ariel and her sister endured numerous appearance-altering procedures. Surgeons would break the bones in their heads and faces to make room for their growing organs. While the physical aspect of their condition was painful, it was nothing compared to the emotional toll of navigating life with a facial disfigurement.

Ariel explores beauty and identity in her young-adult memoir about resilience, sisterhood, and the strength it takes to put your life, and yourself, back together time and time again.

Author’s note. Sources. Recommended reading. 

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Medical: Graphic Descriptions , Violence: Sexual Assault/Rape Reference/Discussion , Violence: Suicide Reference/Discussion , Medical: Eating Disorder , Language: Mild Language , Language: Infrequent Use , Sexual Content: Reference/Discussion

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

400

Trim Size

8 1/2" x 5 1/2"

Dewey

B

AR

6.3: points 15

Lexile

880L

Genre

Nonfic

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Mar 2022

Book Genres

Autobiography/Biography

Topics

Ariel Henley (1992– ). Health. Craniofacial dysostosis patients. Crouzon syndrome. Twins. Sisters. Family. Identity. Coming of age. Disability. Disfigurement. Medical trauma. Bullying. Friendship. 

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-Henley weaves a memoir of a journey to finding one's identity, while dealing with a life of raw physical and emotional pain. Born with Crouzon syndrome, a condition where the bones of the head fuse prematurely, Ariel and her twin sister, Zan, grew up under an umbrella of burden: the perpetual hostility of a society with strict beauty standards and the endless stream of life-saving facial surgeries. Told in segments, this memoir moves readers through Ariel's early childhood into the overwhelming middle school experience, which is marked by trauma but also resiliency, and then into her late-teen early college years, where she finally allows herself to break from the mold of external influence. Henley effortlessly explores the immense societal importance of striving toward unobtainable beauty standards and the authentic consequences for those who seemingly fall short of it. The book also touches on eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, and anger issues. With a perceptive analysis of the way beauty standards shape the most basic social values and a fascinating coming-of-age story told from a unique perspective, Henley's memoir is not to be missed. VERDICT Captivating, unflinching, and insightful, this title is highly recommend.-Jessica Manafi Brits

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-Henley weaves a memoir of a journey to finding one's identity, while dealing with a life of raw physical and emotional pain. Born with Crouzon syndrome, a condition where the bones of the head fuse prematurely, Ariel and her twin sister, Zan, grew up under an umbrella of burden: the perpetual hostility of a society with strict beauty standards and the endless stream of life-saving facial surgeries. Told in segments, this memoir moves readers through Ariel's early childhood into the overwhelming middle school experience, which is marked by trauma but also resiliency, and then into her late-teen early college years, where she finally allows herself to break from the mold of external influence. Henley effortlessly explores the immense societal importance of striving toward unobtainable beauty standards and the authentic consequences for those who seemingly fall short of it. The book also touches on eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, and anger issues. With a perceptive analysis of the way beauty standards shape the most basic social values and a fascinating coming-of-age story told from a unique perspective, Henley's memoir is not to be missed. VERDICT Captivating, unflinching, and insightful, this title is highly recommend.-Jessica Manafi Brits

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