Published Oct 2011
Paperback, 288 pages
I was really intrigued as to what the author had to say about the topic of her book. So I asked her a few questions and she was gracious and kind enough to answer them. Here is a short interview with Katrina Kittle:
KK: Thanks so much for hosting me, Laura. I really appreciate the opportunity.
LCR: You tackle the topic of bulimia in this book, which is not an easy one to do. Some scenes were hard to read as they were honest and forthright about this eating disorder. Was there a specific reason why you chose to explore this topic?
KK: I'd studied classical ballet very seriously when I was younger, so I'd seen firsthand some varying levels of eating disorders. Then, when I was teaching middle school and high school, I had the experience of working with therapists and parents when my students fell into such behavior as well. I've long been fascinated with all kinds of addiction, and, really, an eating disorder is a kind of addiction. Often, the girl will want to stop the behavior but feels powerless to do so. I found that the majority of people don't understand eating disorders at all, and there's often disdain, impatience, and judgement thrown at girls with bulimia and anorexia. There's this pervasive sense of, “Well, why don't you just eat?” or “Why don't you just stop binging?” as if it's a matter of will power only.
LCR: I loved reading Hannah’s experiences in Africa. Are her adventures based on your own trip to Africa?
KK: Yes, they are! And I'm so glad you loved reading about them. I had the amazing gift of traveling with a group of high school students to Ghana, Togo, and Benin, in West Africa. It was a life-altering experience for me. Many of Hannah's reactions to the sensory overload of Africa were mine! I was enthralled by the voodoo markets, intimidated by the bartering over prices, and yes, I really did have a night like Hannah's in the village of Tafi Atome (I don't want to spoil anything...but right down to the “creative” use of a plastic grocery bag and the surprise guest!). The scene where the village chief teaches Hannah to bargain actually happened to me, and I still have that gorgeous piece of purple and white kente cloth. By the end of the trip, I was bargaining like a master!
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*Giveaway ends Oct 26, 2011.
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I will count this book toward the following challenges: YA Reading Challenge
Disclosure: Thanks to Sourcebooks for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.