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Wintergirls Reprint Edition
Contributor(s): Anderson, Laurie Halse

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ISBN: 014241557X     ISBN-13: 9780142415573
Publisher: Speak
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Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: February 2010

Annotation: Six years after Cassie and Lia resolved to become the skinniest girls in their school, Cassie dies. Unable to bear the sadness and guilt following Cassie's death, Lia spirals deeper into her own eating disorder. Elijah, the last person to see Cassie alive, helps Lia find the strength to face her own demons and enter recovery.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Anorexia nervosa; Fiction.
Death; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2010003713
Lexile Measure: 730
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.25" H x 5.50" W x 1.00" (0.56 lbs) 278 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 128927
Reading Level: 4.1   Interest Level: Upper Grades   Point Value: 9.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q46207
Reading Level: 4.5   Interest Level: Grades 9-12   Point Value: 15.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Publisher Description:
"aDead girl walking, a the boys say in the halls.
aTell us your secret, a 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 friendas restless spirit.

In her most emotionally wrenching, lyrically written book since the multiple-award-winning Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson explores Liaas descent into the powerful vortex of anorexia, and her painful path toward recovery.

Contributor Bio(s): urie Halse Anderson is the recipient of both the Margaret A. Edwards Award and the ALAN Award, both of which honor her contributions to young adult literature. Best-known for National Book Award Finalist Speak, she is also the author of Catalyst, Prom and Twisted, as well as the Vet Volunteers series for younger readers, Fever, 1793, and Chains (also a National Book Award Finalist and winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction). She lives in Northern New York State with her husband.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2009 #2)
"It's not nice when girls die," observes Lia, who suffers from anorexia and an addiction to cutting herself. Lia has just heard that her estranged friend Cassie was found dead, alone, in a motel room -- this after leaving Lia thirty-three messages, none of which she listened to until it was too late. Cassie's death tips the already fragile Lia into a painful, spooky vortex of self-destruction. The specter of Cassie (who died of a burst esophagus, the result of violent bulimia) haunts her; her busy, divorced parents fail to take adequate action; and even Lia's love for her stepsister can't dispel her disordered visions. Crossed-out words and phrases show the double voices of anorexia vs. healthy reason and illustrate the disconnect between perception and reality. Anderson conveys Lia's illness vividly through her dark, fantastic thoughts -- full of images of tangled, spiky vegetation and continuous, bitter rejection of her parents. To read this stream-of-consciousness, first-person, present-tense work is to be drawn into an anorexic mentality (grotesque descriptions of food, calories assigned to every morsel), and therefore not for every reader, though it makes for a tense, illuminating tale. Why Lia's parents don't intervene is puzzling (familiar as they are with the behaviors and dangers of this mortal disease); but in effect it allows Anderson to demonstrate that Lia's healing must come from her own desire to live. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2009 January #4)

Acute anorexia, self-mutilation, dysfunctional families and the death of a childhood friend—returning to psychological minefields akin to those explored in Speak, Anderson delivers a harrowing story overlaid with a trace of mysticism. The book begins as Lia learns that her estranged best friend, Cassie, has been found dead in a motel room; Lia tells no one that, after six months of silence, Cassie called her 33 times just two days earlier, and that Lia didn't pick up even once. With Lia as narrator, Anderson shows readers how anorexia comes to dominate the lives of those who suffer from it (here, both Lia and Cassie), even to the point of fueling intense competition between sufferers. The author sets up Lia's history convincingly and with enviable economy—her driven mother is "Mom Dr. Marrigan," while her stepmother's values are summed up with a prcis of her stepsister's agenda: "Third grade is not too young for enrichment, you know." This sturdy foundation supports riskier elements: subtle references to the myth of Persephone and a crucial plot line involving Cassie's ghost and its appearances to Lia. As difficult as reading this novel can be, it is more difficult to put down. Ages 12–up. (Mar.)

[Page 120]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2009 February)

Gr 8 Up—The intensity of emotion and vivid language here are more reminiscent of Anderson's Speak (Farrar, 1999) than any of her other works. Lia and Cassie had been best friends since elementary school, and each developed her own style of eating disorder that leads to disaster. Now 18, they are no longer friends. Despite their estrangement, Cassie calls Lia 33 times on the night of her death, and Lia never answers. As events play out, Lia's guilt, her need to be thin, and her fight for acceptance unravel in an almost poetic stream of consciousness in this startlingly crisp and pitch-perfect first-person narrative. The text is rich with words still legible but crossed out, the judicious use of italics, and tiny font-size refrains reflecting her distorted internal logic. All of the usual answers of specialized treatment centers, therapy, and monitoring of weight and food fail to prevail while Lia's cleverness holds sway. What happens to her in the end is much less the point than traveling with her on her agonizing journey of inexplicable pain and her attempt to make some sense of her life.—Carol A. Edwards, Denver Public Library

[Page 96]. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
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