This frank tale follows a girl’s journey of healing as she recovers from an eating disorder.
Hannah’s actor parents’ rising-star status necessitates relocating from Ohio to the epicenter of celebrity life: LA. At her new school, Hannah encounters the B-Squad—the reigning trio of eighth-grade girls, who sit in judgment on all things hip. Suddenly, all that Hannah loves to do—running track, her art work—is deemed uncool. In the wake of this upheaval and the devastating news of her mother’s terminal-cancer diagnosis, Hannah turns to her Secret Remedy—bulimia. Kittle scrutinizes how negative peer opinion can wreak havoc on a young teen’s fragile self-esteem. Her sometimes graphically detailed and unflinching portrayal of bulimia explores the insidious way it can overtake a person’s life both physically and emotionally. When Hannah’s illness spirals out of control, Aunt Izzy, a documentary filmmaker and recovered anorexic, intervenes. Izzy takes Hannah to Africa, where she is documenting the plight of the country’s orphans. Through her travels and experiences, Hannah gains a new perspective on the notion of beauty and friendship. The rather contrived healing and happy ending do not undercut the emotional intensity of Hannah's journey.
With a forthright intensity, Kittle's tale examines a complex subject. (Fiction. 13-16)