The New York Times bestselling story of a friendship frozen between life and death. Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in fragile bodies. WINTERGIRLS is very painful to read and very, very powerful. It is not for the faint of heart, but fans of Laurie Halse Anderson may find it hard to resist. Teens will. “Wintergirls,” Laurie Halse Anderson’s new novel, takes us into this dark, tyrannical world through the experience of Lia, the year-old.

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This book can help readers and parents delve into a slew of difficult topics, mostly having to do with body image and eating disorders. Check out our “Families Can Talk About” section for some ideas. This is a powerful story about the pain and brutality of eating disorders, the mental anguish suffered by those suffering from anorexia or bulimia, and the pain their loved ones feel watching them.

This is difficult but important material for teens and parents to discuss — and ultimately, there is hope. Like any addiction, Lia’s eating disorder drives her to behave badly in order to get away with the lying required, and the narcissism.

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

But she is someone that readers will relate to — and root for. This book offers a very, very intense look at the mental and physical pain endured by two teen girls with eating disorders, one of whom dies by repetitive vomiting. There’s very graphic detail about their physical deterioration as they starve themselves.

Lia also begins cutting herself when she is There is a subtle hint early on that Cassie had been sexually assaulted when she was very young. Some boys are vulgar when Cassie develops breasts in fifth grade and refer to “jugs” and “hooters. Eli smokes cigarettes; Cassie and Lia start drinking alcohol when they are about 13, but drinking is not a focus of the book, not glamorized.

Cassie is wasted when she dies. Some abuse of the various prescription drugs used for depression and eating disorders. Parents need to know this is a very, very intense book about the mental and physical pain endured by teens with eating disorders. The two main characters, the “wintergirls” of the title, both have emotional problems that lead to and exacerbate their disorders. The book starts with Cassie dying from repetitive vomiting.

The very graphic detail about their physical deterioration as the girls starve themselves is painful to read. Parents may find this award-winning book educational — not only about the pressures today’s teens feel, but also about the way these girls maintain their lies and how others enable them to do so.

Add your rating See all 9 parent reviews. Add your rating See all 29 kid reviews. Eighteen-year-old Lia wakes up to learn her former best friend, Cassie, has killed herself. The night she died she called Lia 33 times, and Lia didn’t answer. In fifth grade, they were best friends, so close they swore to help each other be the skinniest girls in high school.


When their eating disorders spiral out of control and repeated stays in treatment centers don’t help, Lia finally distances herself from Cassie. Even though Lia can’t give up her obsession with losing weight, anderwon hates herself and relieves some of her mental anguish by cutting and self-medication. Her parents try to help but are easily fooled into believing she is better, even after Cassie dies from bulimia.

Cassie continues to encourage Lia to starve herself even after she is dead by haunting her; and Andderson guilt helps drive her down into one more bout of starvation that sends her to the hospital again, where she is committed and treated for mental illness.

Wintergirls – Wikipedia

It is not for the faint of heart, but eintergirls of Laurie Halse Anderson may find it hard to resist. Lurie will find it depressing — parents will find it even more so — but Anderson’s beautiful and evocative writing will compel them to read to the end.

Anderson says in an afterward that she wrote this book because of so many readers who asked her to write about eating disorders, cutting, and feeling lost. It’s hard to imagine anyone doing a better job. An innovative style of journal writing kaurie used to further illustrate a troubled mind — some pages are blank while others feature crossed out words.

Lia references fairy tales and fairy tale images that will appeal especially to female readers. This story has more brutality than a fairy tale from the Grimm brothers.

As Lia says, there is no magic cure for girls like her, but there is a tiny, potent thimbleful of hope in the end. Families can talk about body image, healthy self-image, and cultural expectations for women’s bodies.

Parents may want to read through Common Sense Media’s body image tips halsd girls and womenand winrergirls for boys. Do you think this book’s discussion larie eating disorders will help prevent them and provide support for victims What responsibility lauriie an author have for what her readers do after reading her book?

Also, this book has an official wintergirljust like a movie. Have you seen these for books before? What do you think of this marketing effort? How else can publishers let teens know about new books? Common Sense Media’s unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren’t influenced by the product’s creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate. Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase.

Thank you for your support. Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate.

The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential. Learn how we rate. For Your Family Log in Sign me up. Is it OK for kids to read books outside their reading levels? Column 4 Our impact report: How Tech Is Changing Childhood. Want personalized picks that fit your family?



Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids. Disturbing, lauded eating disorder read; discuss with teens. Laurie Halse Anderson Body Awareness Sign in or join to save for later. Parents recommend Popular with kids.

Based on 9 reviews. Based on 29 reviews. Get it now Searching for streaming and purchasing options Common Sense is a nonprofit organization.

Your purchase helps us remain independent and ad-free. Get it now on Searching for streaming and purchasing options A lot or a little? The parents’ guide to what’s in this book. What parents need to know Parents need to know this is a very, very intense book about the mental and physical pain endured by teens with eating disorders.

Continue reading Show less. Stay up to date on new reviews. Get full reviews, ratings, and advice delivered weekly to your inbox. User Qintergirls Parents say Kids say. Adult Written by laneymiller March 2, Helpful, Insightful, Worthwhile I have read countless books about eating disorders. This is the first one that actually inspired me to recover instead of driving me further into my disorder. Parent of a 9 and 12 year old Written by 2lildivasmom February 20, I just finished reading this book that my 12 year old daughter brought home from her school library.

Wimtergirls find it unsettling that this book is accessible for her a Teen, 14 years old Written by aintergirls March 24, This book could save someone Although people think that Lia might be a bad role model, Elijah and Cassie especially, they show the struggles of an average teen in this generation.

Andsrson, 13 years old Written by Reba March 6, Give it to someone with Eating Disorders, it might save them Very very good book! Unlike what some people said cough parent comment, cough this book does the exact opposite but encourage you into eating disorders. Is it any halsd Talk to your kids about Laurie Halse Anderson Genre: Body Awareness Book type: March 1, Winergirls recommended age s: For kids who love mature fare.

Frequently Challenged Books for Kids and Teens. Gripping anorexia docu; watch with your kids.

Poignant read perfect for mom-teen girl book club. Eating disorder recovery tale is raw and honest. Ghost boy tells the story of a book-banning.

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