Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Melissa managed a “Let’s see it, Raven.” See, she was okay. She had let Lindsey make her over. She would not eat any popcorn. She would laugh tonight, and tomorrow she’d have officer training. She would work out really hard to make up for any junk left inside. Yeah, she was okay.

Book: Skinny: A Novel by Laura L. Smith, NavPress, 2008

Genre: Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 12-19
Subjects: Eating Disorders, Faith, Dating Relationships, Stress, Friendship
Summary: Melissa is definitely not okay. Life has thrown its challenges at her and she’s convinced that if she could just get skinny, things would be better. Schoolwork has gotten extremely hard, her boyfriend doesn’t seem to want to date her anyone and she’s trying out to be a dance team officer even though she’s only a freshman. With all this stacked against her, she can hardly keep herself together. But when avoiding food makes things worse, can Melissa find the strength to change the thought pattern she has developed?
Notes: Written after seeing three friends struggle with eating disorders, Laura L. Smith uses this fictional story to show how easy it is for young girls to develop eating disorders in a desperate attempt to control things in their life and earn the admiration of friends and the boys they hope to attract. This story shows a very normal girl going through issues every teen faces – tough school work, attempts to meet goals, friendship difficulties and dating relationship struggles. At one point in the book, statistics are quoted showing how many girls struggle with this. The book also emphasizes how important it is to have support from parents and/or friends as a girl attempts to recover from an eating disorder. As for spiritual issues, the character’s misconceptions about God and His expectations of His children play into her eating disorder. She believes she has to earn His favor as well and believes that if she uses self-control and avoids eating junk food, that He will be pleased. She even misinterprets the story of Lazarus, the beggar, and the rich man, believing that Lazarus earned Heaven through not eating junk like the rich man. Then she re-reads the story later and reads the rest of it, realizing it is faith that earned God’s favor, not self-control for not eating, not any act of service. The story definitely shows a very normal teen girl, a very normal person, in that area as well – subconsciously doing things to try to earn God’s favor. This book could be extremely useful as a starting point for a discussion on both eating disorders and what God expects of us.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 4/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Hebrews 11:6 - And without faith it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.


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