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Published by: Scholastic
Release Date: 04/1/2010
Pages: 240
ISBN13: 978-0545052375


2010 Bank Street College of Education Best Books of the Year

A striking story about one girl's deadly secret...

Janie Ryman hates throwing up. So why does she binge eat and then stick her fingers down her throat several times a day? That’s what the doctors at Golden Slopes hope to help her discover. But first Janie must survive everyday conflicts between the Barfers and the Starvers, attempts by the head psychiatrist to fish painful memories out of her emotional waters, and shifts in friendships and alliances among the kids in the ward.

As a recovered bulimic myself, I feel very passionate about this story. I spent way too much of my life hating my body, and even though I'm about 30 pounds heavier than I was when I was a teenager, I like myself much better than when I had a "better" figure. It wasn't an easy journey to get where I am today, but it certainly was a worthwhile one.

Part of the inspiration for the novel came from finding this picture of myself at 14. Looking at this picture as my forty-something year-old self, I thought, "Wow, I had a good figure."

But I still remember how I felt when I was the fourteen-year old girl in that picture. How I thought I was fat...and ugly.

Looking at the picture made me sad. Sad for my 14 year old self. Sad for all the other girls - and guys - who look in the mirror and hate what they see.

There's a line in "Lucky Man", by the Verve, that goes: "Happiness...Something in my own place, I'm stood here naked, Smiling, I feel no disgrace, With who I am." I remember listening to that over and over, wanting to feel that about myself.

Today I'm in that place. And you can be too.


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