Sunday, July 11, 2010


Purge by Sarah Darer Littman (NY: Scholastic, 2009).

Sixteen-year-old Janie detests vomiting, but she's firmly in the Barfer camp, as opposed to the Starvers, at Golden Slopes, the treatment facility for eating disorders. After causing a scene at her perfect stepsister's wedding, Janie has been shuttled here for the summer to get fixed. Not that she wants to get fixed or even thinks she needs fixing. She's fine, really. She likes writing in her journal and she can lie with the best of them to her psychiatrist. She just wants to get back home, where she can pee in peace. And puke, of course.

In spite of her resolve, Janie is forced to face some hard truths. Eating disorders can kill people. One of the Starvers actually dies--practically right in front of Janie. Talking about her feelings and learning strategies for coping, without purging, can be useful. Dealing with conflicts works better than burying them. Don't assume that the story in your head is the truth since it could be just that: a story in your head.

Littman spins a vivid tale of a teen's struggle with a common eating disorder. Janie's relationships with her family, friends, caregivers, and fellow inmates are well developed and realistic. Highly recommended for teens, ages 12 & up.

No comments: