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[The Best Little Girl in the World] [by: Steven Levenkron] Paperback – 7 Mar 1989


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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Warner Books Inc (7 Mar. 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446358657
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446358651
  • ASIN: B007CIJ1O4
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 10.6 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,338,522 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

The Best Little Girl in the World Kessie thinks she's overweight. She's five foot four and ninety-eight pounds. Kessie has anorexia nervosa. Full description

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At the barre the girls moved and stretched, pointed and arched to Madame's precise cadence. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 May 2003
Format: Paperback
I first read this book at the age of about 11 or something, and I remember how it made me feel. I had known people with anorexia, and was later to realise that my best friend was bulimic and that i too was going to struggle with self-hatred and eating problems. Francesca's story moved me then, and recently, having been recommended this book by the computer, I read it again. It loses nothing. I couldn't remember the name of the book that touched me over nine years ago, then as soon as I saw it on the page it brought it back. This may seem irrelevant to a review, but is necessary to point out just how touching, poignant, saddening and honest this book really is.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By K. S. Culling on 29 Jan. 2005
Format: Paperback
As an experienced (15 years ill), well-recovered anorexic and student of the mind, I have read virtually all books written on eating disorders, especially anorexia. I read this book many years ago, and its negative impression has remained with me. There are elements of truth in this book - ones that actually made it "easier" for me to be anorexic when I first became ill. (I recovered several years ago). Triggering would be the correct terminology - so beware.

Behaviours are described with very little (if any) insight into the actual disease and its horrors. It is insulting to have such deep-rooted, painful issues dismissed by creating someone suddenly recovering by just deciding to. It is not that simple. Such writing may lead people to greater self-execration (if that is possible in eating disorder sufferers) by making them feel utterly blameworthy. It did for me.

Certainly, determination helps, but conscious efforts are not usually enough on their own - how ever strong you may be. Recovery needs buckets of support and time.

I cannot help but feel angry that the author seems to love himself a little too much and really believes his heroic, perceptive treatment "saved the day." Well meaning but with no insight. If you want a superficial book, read this. If not, don't bother. There are many better books to choose from.

I didn't bother to read the sequel.

Katy Sara Culling.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By nuttychick on 15 Jan. 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Once i started this book i couldn't put it down.... i was drawn into Kessa's little world which i felt comfy and obsessed with. I myself am in a recovery from an eating disorder and found it comforting to be able to understand and read the obsession of it from another point of view. The only down point was that i found this book very triggering and that it had an effect on my own health and recovery, i was so obsessed with Kessa's obsessions that i to started to pick them up and take them on. Only read this if you are free from an eating disorder or a friend/ family of someone who has one to get a better understanding of the illness. I would say anyone who has or is in recovery from an eating disorder (however long) should decide carefully whether or not it will be beneficial for them to read it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Feb. 2006
Format: Paperback
It is 20 years since I read this book and it is one of very few I remember. I found it very moving and as a teenager it introduced me to real side of a problem that was often a source of playground sniggering due to lack of understanding.
Befor reading this book I thought it was funny to poke fun at the thin girl and accuse her of being anorexic, I had no idea what turmoil you must go through to turn to this.
I can see that those who have been there may be worried that this may trigger the problem but as an ignorant child this was an educational read that I felt was well written. I would have no hesitation in reccomending it to my own children
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Evan S. Cent on 13 Jun. 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this shortly after my own anorexia had begun. I measured myself against Francesca (the girl in the book) and felt I wasn't thin enough, disciplined enough, etc. There are behaviours and weights in here that I began aspiring to. If you are already vulnerable to eating disorders, such things are very dangerous.

I can see that the author had good intentions, such as teaching the public about a (then) little known problem, but the fact remains that for anyone vulnerable to an eating disorder, this book is likely to do more harm than good. If you are trying to recover, read something else. This book is likely to make you feel bad about yourself.

It gives the very dangerous impression that an eating disorder can be picked up and put down as simply as the flu. In reality, you will suffer horrible physical effects - worse, the longer you stay ill. The irony is that you do it to try to feel LESS disgusting, but in the end, when the physical side catches up to you - and it will - you feel even more revolting.

I would recommend the DVD Dying to be thin, and a series of video blogs on youtube by a recovering sufferer called Kat (user name eniwekwe) because these talk about the reality of the illness. Most sufferers think they are "getting away with it" because they don't feel so bad, but the physical damage will not make you feel ill until it has gone too far to be undone. Your insides will pack up and you can lose control of your bowels, you can lose your teeth, your hair, the use of your legs, you can get heart attacks... This lady on one of the documentaries was a ballet dancer and now has to use a zimmer at the age of 45. A friend of mine has a colostomy (a bag attached to her bowel).
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