Okay I realize that it has been waaaaaay too long since I last posted, and I apologize, but I have a pretty good excuse. I was in Harry Potter World! And it was incredible! I’ve been dreaming of going since they first announced the project and this year I was lucky enough to finally get the chance. My family spend half a day there and it felt just like living one of the Harry Potter books. I wandered around Hogsmeade, wound my way through Hogwarts, poked around in Zonkos and Honeydukes, and whizzed around a “broomstick.” It was so worth the years-long wait. But enough babbling about the awesomeness that is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter … I have TBF business to get to!
TBF 2012 will mark the third time that the amazing Laurie Halse Anderson has attended Teen Book Festival. She was an attendee at the very first TBF, which is where I first saw her speak. I actually stumbled upon her presentation by accident – I was looking for Alex Sanchez’s room, turned the corner too soon and ended up the cafeteria where she was presenting. It was the best wrong turn I ever took. Her presentation was hilarious, and serious, and heartbreaking all at the same time.
Although she’s most well-known in the young adult world for her novel “Speak” she has authored four other YA novels: “Catalyst,” “Prom,” “Twisted,” and “Wintergirls.”
In “Wintergirls,” Lia and Casie were best friends until Casie’s death. Twins in mental illness, both Lia and Casie struggled (and continue to struggle) with eating disorders. Bulimia stole Casie’s life, and although Lia is no longer in treatment for anorexia, she is still hiding her illness from her dysfunctional family. Booklist described “Wintergirls” as “a brutal and poetic deconstruction of how one girl stealthily vanishes into the depths of anorexia.” I can’t think of a better way to describe this book. It’s disturbing and hearth wrenching, but it’s also eye-opening. It provides the reader with a glimpse into the mind of a teenager struggling with a very serious and very real issue. “Wintergirls” is not a book to be taken and read lightly, but it is a book with the potential to change lives, and that is an astounding thing.