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Take 5: Books about eating disorders

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Take 5: Books about eating disorders (2014 and 2015)

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is February 22-28. Visit the National Eating Disorders Awareness site for more information.

All descriptions of these recently published books from the publisher. Check the links provided for reviews and other posts by us on most of the books. See the “Body Image and Eating Disorders” list under Teen Issues for many great previous posts on TLT that cover this topic.


Skin and Bones by Sherry Shahan

Publisher: Albert Whtiman & Company

Publication date: 3/1/2014

ISBN-13: 9780807573976


Sixteen-year-old Jack, nicknamed “Bones,” won’t eat. His roommate in the eating disorder ward has the opposite problem and proudly goes by the nickname “Lard.” They become friends despite Bones’s initial reluctance. When Bones meets Alice, a dangerously thin dancer who loves to break the rules, he lets his guard down even more. Soon Bones is so obsessed with Alice that he’s willing to risk everything-even his recovery.

(Check out “Skin and Bones: Talking about Teens and Eating Disorders,” a guest post on TLT by Sherry Shahan.)



Pointe by Brandy Colbert 

Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group

Publication date: 4/10/2014

ISBN-13: 9780399160349


Theo is better now.

She’s eating again, dating guys who are almost appropriate, and well on her way to becoming an elite ballet dancer. But when her oldest friend, Donovan, returns home after spending four long years with his kidnapper, Theo starts reliving memories about his abduction—and his abductor.

Donovan isn’t talking about what happened, and even though Theo knows she didn’t do anything wrong, telling the truth would put everything she’s been living for at risk. But keeping quiet might be worse.

Brandy Colbert dazzles in this heartbreaking yet hopeful debut novel about learning how to let go of even our most shameful secrets.

(See my review of Pointe, and Christa Desir’s guest post for TLT, “Consent and Teenage Vulnerability: A Look at Pointe)


Running Scared by Leslie McGill

Publisher: Saddleback Educational Publishing

Publication date: 9/1/2014

ISBN-13: 9781622507061

Series: Cap Central


Capital Central High School, or Cap Central as the students like to call it, is in the northeast quadrant of Washington, D.C. Any urban school faces broad challenges, and Cap Central is no different. But some tight-knit juniors meet the difficulties head-on with courage, friendship, determination, and hard work. Rainie’s grades were slipping. Good grades were a lifetime ago. Back when her dad was around. Before her mom’s boyfriend started hanging out at their house. Commenting on her figure. Looking her up and down. Before she decided to stop eating. Become invisible. Her friends were alarmed, especially Joss. She knew times were tough for Rainie’s family. But she felt like there was more going on. Something serious. And she was going to figure it out.


Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz 

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Publication date: 3/3/2015

ISBN-13: 9781481405966


Etta is tired of dealing with all of the labels and categories that seem so important to everyone else in her small Nebraska hometown.

Everywhere she turns, someone feels she’s too fringe for the fringe. Not gay enough for the Dykes, her ex-clique, thanks to a recent relationship with a boy; not tiny and white enough for ballet, her first passion; not sick enough to look anorexic (partially thanks to recovery). Etta doesn’t fit anywhere—until she meets Bianca, the straight, white, Christian, and seriously sick girl in Etta’s therapy group. Both girls are auditioning for Brentwood, a prestigious New York theater academy that is so not Nebraska. Bianca might be Etta’s salvation…but can Etta be saved by a girl who needs saving herself?

(See my SLJ review of this title here)


Elena Vanishing: A Memoir by Elena Dunkle and Clare B. Dunkel

Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC

Publication date: 5/19/2015

ISBN-13: 9781452121512


Seventeen-year-old Elena is vanishing. Every day means renewed determination, so every day means fewer calories. This is the story of a girl whose armor against anxiety becomes artillery against herself as she battles on both sides of a lose-lose war in a struggle with anorexia. Told entirely from Elena’s perspective over a five-year period and cowritten with her mother, award-winning author Clare B. Dunkle, Elena’s memoir is a fascinating and intimate look at a deadly disease, and a must read for anyone who knows someone suffering from an eating disorder.


If you would like to recommend additional titles on this topic, please leave us a comment. We always look forward to hearing what books others value and recommend.



  1. Some additions: (from an anorexic, herself!)

    Zoe Letting Go by Nora Price
    Empty by Christie Pettit
    Clean by Amy Reed
    Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
    The Obvious Game by Rita Arens
    Brave Girl Eating by Harriet Brown (technically adult, but is a wonderfully well-written book!)

  2. Arie Cygan says

    This actually answered my drawback, thank you!

  3. summers dream


  1. Fiction Blog says:

    Saddleback Educational Publishing Reading Fiction 1

    […] ong years with his kidnapper, Theo starts reliving memories about his abductionâ […]

  2. Fiction Blog says:

    Saddleback Educational Publishing Reading Fiction 1

    […] n elite ballet dancer. But when her oldest friend, Donovan, returns home after s […]

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