This week (23rd February – 1st March) is Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2015, organised by Beat, a UK charity supporting anyone affected by eating disorders or difficulties with food, weight or shape.
If you’re going through something difficult it can sometimes help to read about someone in a similar situation. It can make you feel less alone with your problems, and might even help you beat them. Even if you’re not battling with an eating disorder, reading books about people who do might mean you can understand and support a friend or family member who needs your help.
So without further ado, here are some books with characters who have eating disorders.
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
“Dead girl walking”, the boys say in the halls.
“Tell us your secret”, 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 friend’s restless spirit.
Fat Kid Rules The World by K. L. Going
Troy Billings is seventeen, 296 pounds, friendless, utterly miserable, and about to step off a New York subway platform in front of an oncoming train. Until he meets Curt MacCrae, an emaciated, semi-homeless, high school dropout guitar genius, the stuff of which Lower East Side punk rock legends are made. Never mind that Troy’s dad thinks Curt’s a drug addict and Troy’s brother thinks Troy’s the biggest (literally) loser in Manhattan. Soon, Curt has recruited Troy as his new drummer, even though Troy can’t play the drums. Together, Curt and Troy will change the world of punk, and Troy’s own life, forever.
Perfect by Natasha Friend
For 13-year-old Isabelle Lee, whose father has recently died, everything’s normal on the outside. But everything is not normal, really. Since the death of her father, Isabelle’s family has only functioned on the surface. Her mother, who used to take care of herself, now wears only lumpy, ill-fitting clothes, cries all night, and has taken every picture of her dead husband and put them under her bed. Isabelle tries to make light of this, but the underlying tension is expressed in overeating and then binging. As the novel opens, Isabelle’s little sister, April, has told their mother about Isabelle’s problem. Isabelle is enrolled in group therapy. Who should show up there, too, but Ashley Barnum, the prettiest, most together girl in class.
Please remember that if you think you have an eating disorder, or become concerned about a friend, you can talk to any member of staff in the school, and we have a counsellor you may be able to see. You can also click here to go to the Beat website for more information.