Wintergirls

By: Laurie Halse Anderson

On Saturday night Lia ignores thirty-three phone calls from her ex-best friend Cassie. On Monday morning Lia learns that Cassie has been found dead in a motel room. Lia has always been skilled at hiding her emotions, and her ongoing struggle with anorexia has taught her how to keep secrets-she sews quarters into her bathrobe to trick the bathroom scale and simulates eating by smearing ketchup on her mouth and making a mess in the microwave. But hiding her guilt over Cassie's death will push her to the edge-and visions of Cassie's ghost, beckoning Lia to join her, might push her over it.

ISBN: 9780670011100

JLG Release: Apr 2009


Sensitive Areas: Anorexia, Bulimia, Cutting as a form of self-abuse, Misuse of drugs,
Topics: Death , Self-hatred , Divorce , Stepfamilies , Food , Calories , Car accidents , End of a friendship , Voice mail , School , School nurses , Body weight , Breasts , Standing up for a friend , Ghosts , Names , Cutting as a form of self-abuse , Parents , Hospitalization , Body image , Anorexia , Wakes , Grief , Drifters , Psychiatrists , Internal dialogue , Funerals , Bulimia , Autopsy reports , Bake sales , Binge eating , Running away , Abandonment , Dying , Recovery

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Awards & Honors

ALA Best Books for Young Adults 2010; ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers 2010; Amelia Bloomer List 2010; Indies Choice Honor Award 2010, Young Adult; Bulletin Blue Ribbons 2009, Fiction; Booklist The Best of Editors’ Choice 2009; Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book of 2009

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Book List*, The Horn Book Magazine, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal*, Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

Horn Book

Lia, an anorexic and cutter, hears that her estranged friend Cassie was found dead in a motel room--after leaving Lia thirty-three messages. Cassie's death tips the already fragile Lia into a vortex of self-destruction. Anderson conveys Lia's illness vividly through her dark, fantastic thoughts. This stream-of-consciousness, first-person, present-t Lia, an anorexic and cutter, hears that her estranged friend Cassie was found dead in a motel room--after leaving Lia thirty-three messages. Cassie's death tips the already fragile Lia into a vortex of self-destruction. Anderson conveys Lia's illness vividly through her dark, fantastic thoughts. This stream-of-consciousness, first-person, present-tense work is tangled and illuminating.

Junior Library Guild

“It’s not nice when girls die.” So opens Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls, a powerful exploration of the distressing world of teen eating disorders. Almost as soon as Lia learns about the death of her former best friend, she becomes haunted by her memories of Cassie. Convinced that she is complicit in Cassie’s death, Lia quickly “It’s not nice when girls die.” So opens Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls, a powerful exploration of the distressing world of teen eating disorders. Almost as soon as Lia learns about the death of her former best friend, she becomes haunted by her memories of Cassie. Convinced that she is complicit in Cassie’s death, Lia quickly descends into a familiar pattern of self-destruction. Anderson takes her readers along on Lia’s journey, using a stream-of-consciousness narrative that allows them to understand first-hand Lia’s thoughts and experiences.

Both Anderson and her audience must grapple with the question of why Lia, and thousands of other girls like her, destroy their own bodies in such extreme ways: “Look in a mirror and find a ghost. Hear every heartbeat scream that everysinglething is wrong with you. ‘Why?’ is the wrong question. Ask ‘Why not?’” This book contains no easy answers. Instead, Anderson precisely details the physical and emotional effects of Lia’s disease. The metaphors she uses are intense, violent images that bring Lia’s inner demons to life.

As the novel progresses, Lia descends further into the world inside her own head, believing that she is actually seeing Cassie’s ghost. Worse, Lia feels unable to turn to anyone around her for help. Anderson draws on imagery from folklore and mythology, especially the stories of Persephone and Sleeping Beauty, to enhance her narrative. In the hopeful and empowering ending, though, there is no Prince Charming. Lia acts as her own savior, finding the strength within herself to become healthy again. Her story is one that readers will not soon forget.

Book Details

ISBN

9780670011100

First Release

April 2009

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

5 1/2" x 8 1/4"

Page Count

304

Accelerated Reader

Level 4.1; Points: 9;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 4.5; Points: 15;

Lexile

Level 730L

Format

Print Book

Edition

-

Publisher

Viking

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Anorexia, Bulimia, Cutting as a form of self-abuse, Misuse of drugs,

Topics

Death, Self-hatred, Divorce, Stepfamilies, Food, Calories, Car accidents, End of a friendship, Voice mail, School, School nurses, Body weight, Breasts, Standing up for a friend, Ghosts, Names, Cutting as a form of self-abuse, Parents, Hospitalization, Body image, Anorexia, Wakes, Grief, Drifters, Psychiatrists, Internal dialogue, Funerals, Bulimia, Autopsy reports, Bake sales, Binge eating, Running away, Abandonment, Dying, Recovery,

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