Four Horsemen of
the Apocalypse (1887) by Victor Vasnetsov
The Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Woodcut by Albrecht Dürer)
From Debbie Wiley Book Reviews
by Jackie Morse
Lisabeth “Lisa” Lewis knows she isn’t thin. Her inner “Thin voice”
reminds her constantly of just how fat she is. She’s already lost a
best friend after she accused Lisa of being anorexic. Little does she
realize what her dieting and exercise regime will lead to as Lisa is
about to become Famine, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Jackie Morse Kessler tackles the sensitive issue of eating disorders in
a clever and imaginative fantasy. The idea of a girl with anorexia
becoming Famine is nothing short of brilliant as it adds a new
perspective to both the concepts of anorexia and famine, showing how
food can control people in vastly different scenarios. Using the Four
Horseman as a metaphor demonstrates the correlation and provides an
excellent illustration of how a person with an eating disorder faces
internal battles on a daily basis.
Lisa is an engaging heroine. It’s easy to fall into the thought
processes that guide her anorexia. Her low self-esteem permeates the
pages. Her relationship with Tammy is particularly intriguing as she
bears witness to someone just like herself- controlled by food. Jackie
Morse Kessler also does a phenomenal job at showing how Lisa’s support
system fails despite the best of intentions by family and friends- and
offers hope on how that support system can still make a difference.
Most importantly, however, is point that a person can only change
themselves- and HUNGER is a great resource to reach out to those who
may be affected by an eating disorder. The Author’s Note at the end is
powerful and I’m glad that Jackie Morse Kessler shares this with the
HUNGER is a must read for teenagers, parents, and anyone who struggles
with being controlled by food. The insights the book provides are
invaluable as Jackie Morse Kessler avoids being preachy or condemning
and allows the reader to see the correlations between Famine and
anorexia. I only wish the book had been longer but perhaps, if so, the
intensity might have been lessened. HUNGER is a short but deeply
introspective tale in which reality and fantasy blur quite easily.
Bravo to Jackie Morse Kessler for the guts to write this one!
Publisher: Graphia/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Children’s Books (October 2010)
by Debbie, Debbie Wiley Book Reviews
Courtesy of Amazon