The Best Little Girl in the World

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Overview

At first, no one knows that something is fatally wrong with fifteen-year-old Kessa -- not her parents, teachers, friends, or family doctor. No one knows Kessa avoids eating whenever she can and forces herself to vomit when she does eat . . . that she has gone from an "A" student to failing. No one knows until Kessa's weight drops from 98 pounds to 88, 81, 78 . . . and it may be too late.

This is the stunning novel and basis for the hit ABC-TV movie that brought ...

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The Best Little Girl in the World

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Overview

At first, no one knows that something is fatally wrong with fifteen-year-old Kessa -- not her parents, teachers, friends, or family doctor. No one knows Kessa avoids eating whenever she can and forces herself to vomit when she does eat . . . that she has gone from an "A" student to failing. No one knows until Kessa's weight drops from 98 pounds to 88, 81, 78 . . . and it may be too late.

This is the stunning novel and basis for the hit ABC-TV movie that brought anorexia nervosa to national attention.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
"There's enough quiet authenticity here to reward those readers interested in the disease."
Robert Redford
"A clear and dramatic presentation of a mysterious, highly complicated psychological syndrome."
Books Today - Myrna Jean Warren
"This will no doubt be a book of major importance this year as more and more information about this strange disorder becomes known...the book is so readable that most of those beginning page one will not put it down until the very last page."
author of Body Language - Julius Fast
"Too little has been written about anorexia nervosa, and in this fascinating case history, Steven Levenkron brings the terror of the problem alive. It is a necessary and important piece of work, a gripping and sensitive story."
coauthor of The Mother's and Father's Medical Encyclopedia - Virginia E. Pomeranz, M.D.
"Anorexia nervosa is on the increase. Parents and professionals who deal with the problem will find the dynamics of the illness clearly explained and an optimistic therapeutic approach offered."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809276998
  • Publisher: Contemporary Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/28/1978

Meet the Author

In addition to this best-selling novel that helped millions to understand anorexia, Steven Levenkron has also authored The Luckiest Girl in the World, a novel about self-mutilation. He also has written Treating and Overcoming Anorexia Nervosa, Kessa, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders, and Cutting. He is one of the nation’s foremost experts on anorexia and other illnesses, and is a psychotherapist in private practice. He and his wife, Abby, live in New York, where they practice together.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 60 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(38)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 60 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2006

    Pretty Good

    I am 14 and have been diagnosed with an ED. I started out reading this book for tips and it ended up really helping me. It inspired me to get help and it also sort of told me what it would be like once I got it. I can't say that I am cured, and I can't say I am sure I want to be yet, but when I am ready,i will owe a lot of it to this book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2006

    Textbook Status

    In all honesty the story seemed like it was pulled from a text book. It did not seem to go beyond the surface stereotypes of what really constitutes an eating disorder. It was predictable in a way that prevented it from shedding any true emotion on the topic. It served more as a brief overview of what most medical books would say typifies an eating disorder. It didn't get much more personal than that.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2013

    I read this book 30 years ago in high school and still remember

    I read this book 30 years ago in high school and still remember it. books such as this were interesting 'fiction' at the time but at the same time we knew it was real and had friends or knew people who suffered from anorexia. I felt it helped me better understand what can cause people to become anorexic and commend the author for writing this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2011

    A very good book

    As a small group of senior high school girls we read "Best Little Girl in the World" by Steven Levenkron, copied righted in 1978, but reissued in 1997 by Warner Books.
    Steven Levenkron is the author of seven books including books on over coming and treating eating disorders. He is a leading authority of eating disorders and has served on the advisory board of the National Association of Anorexia and Bulimia.
    At the start of the novel Francesca is a seemingly "perfect" girl. The fifteen year old is A straight a student, always does her chores and is a fluent dancer, but Francesca soon turns away from the things she used to love and toward obsessive eating habits. When her family becomes concerned about her weight loss, it may already be too late. The book takes readers this young girl's journey to understand herself.
    We all enjoyed this book. Because the author based the main character on real patients, the book is very relative and real. Francesca's thoughts and journey show the danger and the hurt that so many girls really feel. The ending could have been better developed, or perhaps a sequel would be nice to see how things turned out, but overall a very enjoyable read. We would recommend this book, giving it 4 out of 5 stars.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2008

    I could Relate

    This book was truly amazing. I felt as if they had written itfor me. Because I had suffered from an eating disorder both anorexia and bulemia (Which I was able to get help for) I could completely relate. I could honestly say part of the reason on why I got help was because this book opened my eyes. This book is amazing && truly impacted && helped changed me for a better me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2008

    Inspiring

    As you follow Kessa through her journey, you begin to feel for her. You want her to get better, and stop resisting everything and everyone. The ending was a bit disappointing, but other than that, it is a great book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2007

    An Eye-Opener

    This book is an eye opener to all the tenagers that think their fat this tells them that being anorexic is not the answer. To myself this was a great book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2007

    a great book

    I really thought this book was going to be not so great of a book in the beggining but then when i got into reading it everyday after doing my homework i reailized that this little girl was amazing but i felt bad of what is happening to her. This story really helped me realize how life is important ouside of myself... little girls are struggiling of this eating disorder and we need to stop it. They need all of the help they can get. They might not know what is going to happen but we do. I care about other people in the world! And i think everyone should to... were all a family not a family of one. We all need to figure out situations in life to help other people in need. You people out there who dont like to care about other people you don't even know, well try to because there is a lot of people out there who might need you. THIS BOOK REALLY OPENED MY EYES AND I SAID TO MYSELF, 'WOW what an amazing book this was!' I am proud to say i can help!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2006

    seriously...

    this was a very good book it helped me understand teenagers like this a lot because, i have many friends with this disorder and i want to help them as much as possible

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2006

    Great Book!!

    I recommend this book for any teenage girl. The author takes you inside the main character's, Francessca's, head to what she is thinking about as Anorexia starts to control her life. The author also tells you what Francessca's family is thinking as they are trying to find out what is wrong with their daughter. It is an extremly powerful book. Before Francessca met her therapist, it seemed as if no one would be able to help her. It is heart-warming when she meets her new therapist and builds such a trust with him. When you are reading the book, you feel as though you know Francessca and you want so desperately for her to get better. This book is hard to put down! I strongly recommend reading it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2006

    Good girl gone bad!

    This story is about a girl named Francesca who had a good life. She wanted to be the best ballerina. She had no problems at home they were always there for her. She had good friends she was the leader of the group. Plus she was a straight A student. One day she was at Ballerina practice and her teacher told her something that changed her life. She soon became an anorexic and wouldn¿t be open to family and friends. She gave attitudes to her family and friends and her grades were going down .She never ate, or drank anything. She soon went to the hospital because of her weight. Later on in the book she tries to eat, but her body won¿t let her anymore. Will she ever eat, and go back to her old self?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2006

    it grabs you and holds tight

    this book is soo good. my friend reccomended it to me and it really reminds you to do what is right. weight is not the issue in life, feeling good is.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2005

    Great Book

    I love this book but it is very triggering so if you are a recovering anorexic i dont recomend it. But I love this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2005

    Anne, would be anorexic if it wern't for this book.

    I thought this was an awesome book,it changed the way I feel about Anorexia Nervosa. Before I read this book I always thought that people with anorexia were just vain, but now I realize that there's a lot more to anorexia than just being afraid of becoming fat. I also didn't realize how scary it must be to be anorexic and how hard it is to quit.I was going to become anorexic, but after reading this book I changed my mind. This book saved my life! I really don't think anyone should become anorexic because everybody is beautiful and shouldn't starve themselves to death.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2005

    It's a great book!

    It's one of the best books I've read. Although it is a little confusing at first, it definitely gets easier to understand towards the middle of the book. I couldn't stop reading it! It's definitely inspirational and completely unpredictable (in my opinion). Any teen should read this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2005

    a good read

    I actually only read this book about 2 weeks ago and I fell in love with it from the very beginning. It was kinda funny the way i came across the book, I was in my school library looking for a book and I see the title and that was what initially attracted me to the book I read the back and then i was hooked I think that this author did a wonderful job giving readers an inside look at this very common disease. Before i read this book I always just thought that people with this disease were just asking for attention and that they really didn't have real problems but thanks to this book it literally changed my whole outlook on this didease, and I hope this book can be an inspiration to people with the disease and also people without.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2005

    Amazing!

    I must admit I only read this book at first to get tips and ideas, but it is truly an inspiring story of that helped me on my way to recovery. It is a great insight to the world of anorexia, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to learn more about this 'disease'

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2004

    if u want to understand anorexics then read this book

    i rly liked this book- it rly gave a good and realistic view of anorexics. I admit when i fist read the book i got a little defensive b/c i hate phycologist, i thought they were saying it's the answers to everything and that's the first thing you need to do- but i guess they used it good at the end. I can relate to this story in so many different ways, i guess that's y i liked it so much. Sometimes i got a little mad because i thought everyone hated or was against these kind of ppl but i think Steven L. rly gives good explainations- i won't tell u what this book is about but i will tell u it is worth ur time!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2014

    I had gran mal seizures in 1984. My neurologist couldn't find wh

    I had gran mal seizures in 1984. My neurologist couldn't find why. I read this book and knew this was why. Yes, it's just a story but I related to it. It made me realize I had to stop what I was doing. I was afraid more seizures would kill me.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2006

    I thought it was too depresing:(

    I thought it was very well writen but it really brought me down.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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