Eating Problems

Bread and Jam for Frances; Russell Hoban; 1993; ages 3 to 6; fiction. One of the delightful series about Frances the badger, who will eat only bread and jam, until her best friend spreads out his interesting school lunch.

D.W., The Picky Eater; Marc Brown; 1995; ages 3 to 6; fiction. Another funny picture book in the "Arthur the Aardvark" series. Arthur's sister, D.W., is a picky eater until she discovers the pleasures she is missing.

Good Enough to Eat: A Kid's Guide to Food and Nutrition; Lizzy Rockwell; 1999; ages 4 to 8; nonfiction. Bright, cheerful pictures focus on the value of eating right. Question-and-answer format.

Blubber; Judy Blume; 1983; ages 10 to 14, fiction. A fifth grader joins with friends to humiliate the fattest girl in the class until the tables are turned on her.

The Cat Ate My Gym Suit; Paula Danziger; 1988; ages 9 to 13; fiction. A poignant story about an overweight child who feels lonely and alienated.

Taking Charge of My Mind & Body: A Girl's Guide to Outsmarting Alcohol, Drug, Smoking and Eating Problems; Gladys Folkers and Jeanne Engelmann; 1997; ages 10 to 14; nonfiction. Information and short essays about teenage girls dealing with issues of substance abuse and eating disorders.

Perk!; Liza Hall; 1997; ages 13 to 18; fiction. Perk (short for Priscilla) thinks her whole life would be better if only she were thinner. Very engaging story of a teenager who has bulimia.

Nell's Quilt; Susan Terris; 1987; ages 15 to adult; fiction. When 18-year-old Nell gives up her dreams to please her family, she decides to control the only thing she can: her eating. Sad but realistic portrayal of a teen's slow deterioration into anorexia. An unclear ending leaves the reader to decide whether Nell lives.

Anorexia: When Food is the Enemy; Erica Smith; 1999; ages 12 to 18; nonfiction. Straightforward and appealing presentation of facts about the development and dangers of eating disorders. Nice photographs; lots of quotes from kids.

The Best Little Girl In the World; Steven Levenkron; 1978; ages 15 to adult; fiction. Although her dieting begins as a way to prove she's a more beautiful dancer, 15-year old Kessa is pulled into a terrifying obsession with weight loss that threatens to kill her. Captures the desperation of Kessa, her family, and the doctors who help her.

My Sister's Bones; Cathi Hanauer; 1996; ages 15 to adult; fiction. Sixteen-year-old Billie is watching her sister Cassie, a freshman at Cornell, starve herself. Meanwhile, Billie is struggling with typical teenage anxieties that surround growing up in upper middle class New Jersey. Lots of issues about friends, religion, and sex make this an intense, but relatively upbeat novel. Helpful to siblings of teenagers who have anorexia.

When Food's a Foe; Nancy Kolodny; 1998; ages 14 to 18; nonfiction. Description of eating disorders. Provides sympathetic advice to teens and parents about confronting eating problems and getting appropriate help.

How to Get Your Kid To Eat, But Not Too Much; Ellyn Satter; 1987; adults; nonfiction. Basic guide for parents of young children.

Surviving an Eating Disorder: Strategies for Families and Friends; Michelle Siegel; 1997; adults; nonfiction. A family and community-centered approach to helping and living with someone suffering from an eating disorder.

Adapted from: Ellen C. Perrin, MD Susan Starr, MEd Addressing Common Pediatric Concerns Through Children's Books. Pediatrics in Review. 2000;21:130-138. © 2000 American Academy of Pediatrics

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