The Hunger

Overview

Fifteen-year-old Paula's perfectionism drives every facet of her life, from her marks in Grade 10 to the pursuit of a "perfect body." A history project brings her face to face with her grandmother's early life and, as she delves deeper, she is disturbed to find eerie parallels between her own struggles and what she learns of the past.

As Paula slowly destroys the very body she's trying to perfect, her spirit is torn between settling for her imperfect life or entering the ...

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The Hunger

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Overview

Fifteen-year-old Paula's perfectionism drives every facet of her life, from her marks in Grade 10 to the pursuit of a "perfect body." A history project brings her face to face with her grandmother's early life and, as she delves deeper, she is disturbed to find eerie parallels between her own struggles and what she learns of the past.

As Paula slowly destroys the very body she's trying to perfect, her spirit is torn between settling for her imperfect life or entering the shadowy mystery of her grandmother's Armenian past. The shimmering Euphrates River beckons her, but, as she soon discovers, there are many things worse than imperfection.

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Editorial Reviews

The Horizon
"The Hunger is a beautifully written account of one young woman's journey to find out about her heritage while she struggles with the very real issues of anorexia. It appeals to all generations and helps to guide the reader from present-day realities to the realities of history."
From the Publisher

"The Hunger is a beautifully written account of one young woman's journey to find out about her heritage while she struggles with the very real issues of anorexia. It appeals to all generations and helps to guide the reader from present-day realities to the realities of history."

Children's Literature
Fifteen-year-old Paula hates her body. Not only is it tall and awkward, but she has got some extra pounds that draw her father's ire. Paula decides to change her body. She begins a strict diet, punctuated by periods of binging and purging. Slowly, she works her body down to a skeletal frame. She keeps it well-hidden under baggy, long clothes. Finally, discovered by a discerning physician, Paula is hospitalized. She begins to improve, then reaches a plateau. After her family pushes for more success in this, too, Paula's risky behavior causes her to fall into a coma. Somehow, she begins to experience a different time and place. It is a horrible time; Paula is an Armenian, and she is being herded on a forced march to the coast. People are being shot and killed all around her. The body she inhabits becomes skeletal not out of desire but out of suffering. Survival becomes all important to this girl who had been willing to throw it all away. Skrypuch's first young adult novel nicely straddles the present and the past as it addresses body image fears that are common to many teen girls, as well as the horror of the Armenian genocide. Somehow, she successfully weaves these very different threads into one captivating, cohesive narrative. 1999, Boardwalk/Dundurn, Ages 13 to 18.
—Heidi Hauser Green
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781895681161
  • Publisher: Dundurn Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2002
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 1,213,392
  • Age range: 12 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch is the author of three picture books: Silver Threads (Penguin, 1996, illustrated by Michael Martchenko), The Best Gifts (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 1998, illustrated by Halina Below), and Enough (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, forthcoming, illustrated by Michael Martchenko). Marsha, who lives in Brantford, Ontario, with her husband and son, has a BA in English and an MLS. The Hunger is her first young adult novel.

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