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.


The Book Chook said...

When we were in high school, one of our friends was diagnosed with anorexia, and we would skip Sport (never English!), to go and see her in the Psychiatric Unit. She would beg us to help her escape. I've never forgotten how powerless I felt.

With younger and younger kids succumbing to eating disorders, I think it's great to have books aimed at this level. Books can be a way of making someone who feels so alone realize that is just not true, and so helping a little.

Beth Fehlbaum, Author said...

Great review! I used to teach MS Language Arts, too. I teach 5th now, but I still sorta miss my quirky Middle Schoolers...
Beth Fehlbaum, author
Courage in Patience, a story of HOPE..
Ch. 1 is online!

Deborah Lytton said...

Thank you for the wonderful review of my book. It means so much to me!

Deborah Lytton said...

Thank you for the wonderful review of my book. It means so much to me!