SECOND STAR TO THE RIGHT by Deborah Hautzig
Kirkus Star

SECOND STAR TO THE RIGHT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Like Hey Dollface (1978), this novel about a 14-year-old girl with anorexia (not a novel about anorexia) is far more than a plausible case study filled out with particular contingencies. Not that the case hasn't its evident basis: Leslie's middle name is that of her mother's cousin Margolee, killed in a concentration camp because she chose to accompany her mother to the death chamber. Now Leslie's mother denies herself and indulges her daughter. Leslie in turn loves her mother resolutely (""how could I not?""), and shares everything with her, until it comes to seem that an experience isn't hers anymore; her mother's delight in Leslie's good time or new friendship sucks her dry. Still, as Leslie says toward the end when she's hospitalized at 73 pounds, ""It's not your fault I'm sick. . . . I'm a person, not just a piece of clay you molded wrong."" The presence of Leslie as a person, always bright and aware, but changing before our eyes as she feeds herself to the ""dictator"" within her (until the hopeful beginnings of a change in outlook emerge at the end), gives the story edge, energy, and a sense of real life.

Pub Date: Aug. 10th, 1981
ISBN: 0141305800
Publisher: Greenwillow