“The Stone Girl” Alyssa B. Sheinmel

ARC (Advanced Reading Copy). On sale August 28, 2012. Alfred A. Knopf (Random House Children’s Books). 215 pp.

All her life, Sethie has known what she’s wanted to do, then has gone out and done it. She’s gotten all A’s at school, scored over 2000 on her SAT’s, written all her college essays, sent out her college applications, made Shaw her boyfriend, and is awaiting graduation from high school in a few months.

One of the most important accomplishments she’s achieved is paying attention to her weight. She is tired of feeling all the fat accumulate between her thighs, on her belly and all over her body so, just as she’s challenged herself to be perfect in other areas of her life, Sethie is applying perfection to herself. She has managed to get her weight down to 111 pounds, but finds even that to be too fat. Having recently discovered how to throw up her food, she is ecstatic.

When Sethie finds out Shaw, the love of her life, doesn’t want to be with her anymore her world crashes down around her. Since she can’t control how he feels, Sethie feels there is only one thing she can control: her weight. As she continues to get skinnier and skinnier, her health declines, and other physical problems begin to manifest themselves. Without help, it will just be a matter of time before Sethie really turns into the stone girl she already feels she’s become.

“The Stone Girl” casts an uncompromising view at the world of the Anorexic and Bulimic teenager, colored through the experiences of the author who’d also had similar problems when she was a teen. High school teens who read “The Stone Girl” will not only be educated on what to look for in their friends who may be suffering from similar weight loss illnesses, but may also recognize themselves within its pages and seek the help they need.

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