Focus on the Family


A book review for parents

This drama by Natasha Friend is published by Milkweed Editions and is written for kids ages 12 and up. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.

Plot Summary

Isabelle's mother thinks everything is "fine." The truth is, the death of Isabelle's dad has taken its toll on all of them — and it has manifested itself in Isabelle as an eating disorder. When her mother discovers Isabelle is bulimic, she sends her daughter to an eating disorder and body image therapy group. Isabelle bonds with Ashley Barnum, a girl from her school she has always admired. Rather than helping each other get well, the two binge and purge together. Ultimately, and after some one-on-one therapy, Isabelle realizes she wants to work through her problem, and she takes positive steps toward getting better.

Christian Beliefs


Authority Roles

Isabelle's counselor, Trish, is patient and respectful as she helps Isabelle come to terms with her grief and learn to overcome her eating disorder. Isabelle's Aunt Weezy checks in on her and her mother frequently.

Other Belief Systems

Isabelle and her sister decide to celebrate Hanukkah — something they haven't done since their father died. At first, their mother is chagrined, but it proves to help her break through some of her grief.

Profanity/Graphic Violence

God's name is used in vain.




Young Adult Winner of the Golden Sower Award, 2007; Milkweed Prize for Children's Literature, 2004

Discussion Topics

If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:

Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. A book's inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.