Skinny by Donna Cooner
I have to be honest, when a dear writer friend told me about this book, I thought Eh, I probably can't relate. You see the book is about an obese teenage girl (5'6" and 300lbs) struggling with her weight. Me, always been skinny and athletic, couldn't imagine I would enjoy a book like this because...I probably can't relate.
I was wrong.
I was WRONG.
This book touched something deep inside me. I wish I could give this book to teen me and every teen in the world. Yes this book is about a girl struggling with her weight BUT its so much more. Skinny is the negative voice inside Ever's head that whispers all the hateful things she feels from being overweight. As it says on the Amazon book description "This story will appeal to girls who struggle with doubts and fears, whether dealing with weight issues, loneliness, or lack of popularity."
When I was in high school, I had the opposite problem as Ever. I was TOO skinny. Not only did I fell self-conscious about my skinny weight, I thought I was stupid and ugly. But mostly I was made fun of quite a bit for being too skinny. I was accused of being anorexic, bulimic, called an Ethiopian, and was told I must have a tapeworm. Though I was probably a size 2 or 4 in high school, I wore size 6 and 8's to hide my body. At 40 years old, the hateful nicknames like "board breast" (because I was skinny and flat chested) still haunt me. I think the most hurtful comment was by a boy I had a crush on. (I've told this story on my blog before if you feeling deja vu.) When a friend wrote him a note that I liked him, the boy wrote her back saying "Fucking Dana would be like fucking a skeleton with no meat." (Hey, ass wipe, I wouldn't procreate with you to save mankind.)
Every teen has a little voice inside their head that tears them down. Some voices are louder than others. It wasn't until a few years ago that I even realized I had this negative voice inside my head. The most painful thing I learned was the voice was my own, but in learning this, I realized I could control it. Through a lot of therapy and the self help book "Self-Esteem" by McKay and Fanning, I learned how to recognize the negative voice and shut it off.
This is what Ever does as well. This book shows teens that they have the power to control what goes on in their heads. It's about the only power we do have. Just like Ever, set your eyes on the prize and figure out how to get there. It's not an easy road and we'll make mistakes along the way but eventually, we can find that inner peace.
If you know a teen that has self-esteem issues, this book could give them a light of hope.