Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Jane in Bloom
I found this delightful book in my pile that would be just perfect for middle school girls.
It is no surprise that Jane's older sister, Lizzie, is in trouble with her eating disorder. And, after Lizzie dies, Jane isn't sure what to do with her new only child role. Jane's always been close to Lizzie and yet has lived in her shadow. Lizzie was the beautiful blonde-obviously haunted- who everyone noticed. As the story progresses you gradually see the reasons Lizzie might have been prone to an eating disorder. Jane eventually finds her way to "growing up" on her own and the journey is beautiful.
This book is like a milder version of Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson (also coming in March). While Wintergirls is definitely for older teens, Jane in Bloom can teach younger girls the perils of eating disorders; controlling, perfectionistic mothers; and possible missteps in the journey of adolescence. This book was quietly wonderful and you cheer for Jane through every page. A little romance thrown in never hurts the plot either- especially where teenage girls are concerned. Spare, lovely prose graces the novel from cover to cover.