A few months ago, you may remember I ran a competition called #AskNicolaMorgan, in which schools chose three questions to ask me and I would answer at least one from each school and award prizes for the best. I’ve done that, but there are more questions I’d like to answer. And one of them ties in with the book I’m writing, Body Brilliant.
Haggerston School (which, incidentally, came second in the competition, which, incidentally, led to them working with me on Body Brilliant – how’s that for a circle?!) asked this question:
“Aside from your own, are there any books (fiction or non-fiction) you would recommend young people read to help them make sense of growing up in the 21st century?”
I won’t exactly answer that (because I think school librarians know better than I do all the books that would fit the bill) but I would love to twist the question slightly. One of the things I’m doing in Body Brilliant is provide a selection of age-appropriate novels and factual books that tackle each topic I’m covering. Now, I’ve got some already but here’s where YOU come in: please suggest some more!
Before you do, please note:
- The books must be printed, not just ebooks
- They must not be self-published
- They must be appropriate for ages from 10/11 to 16. If you’re recommending a book that would only be ideal for the upper end of that, please say.
- They must do a good job of getting under the skin of the character going through whatever challenge it is.
Here are the topics I need to cover:
Eating/exercising disorders – food restricting/over-exercising, weight/emotional/control issues
There are a lot of books on these topics but I’m happy for more so that I can cover the whole range of issues around this complex area. I definitely need some with boy main characters. I’d also like a few more that take over-exercising as the main theme and also any that focus on boys and gym culture. I also need the books to be sensitive, as this is a very triggering area.
Jelly by Jo Cotterill
Blubber by Judy Blume
Big Bones by Laura Dockrill
Summer’s Dream by Cathy Cassidy
Splash by Charlie Howard
Massive by Julia Bell
Sara’s Face by Melvin Burgess
Uglies by Scott Westerfield
(I haven’t managed to finish reading either of these yet. Struggling a bit. They may be too old?) Can you think of anything more realistic rather than dystopian?
Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson (This isn’t exactly about body perfectionism but it is about perfectionism in general and the MC over-exercises. Searing book, btw.)
Disfigurement or visible difference
Izzy, willy-nilly by Cynthia Voigt
Deenie by Judy Blume
Tall Story by Candy Gourlay
One by Sarah Crossan
Wonder by RJ Palacio
Gender transitioning or questioning
George by Alex Gino
If I was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
My mind has gone blank – help me out! (There are quite a few novels with LGBQ characters/issues but I’m specifically looking for stories that have body image as a feature and this may be harder to find.)
Body Dysmorphic Disorder
There must be some!
Any novels where the character has talking therapy for any anxiety disorders.
Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne
Where the Internet/social media affects body image – including any stories where someone is bullied/trolled for appearance and also where internet porn is a feature
Or anything else that says something about body image, either positive or negative
I’m also looking for non-fiction, of course
Trans Mission – my quest to a beard by Alex Bertie
Body Positive Power by Megan Jayne Crabbe
Misfit – one size does not fit all by Charli Howard
Over to you, readers, librarians and other experts! Add your comments and I’ll start adding the ones I want to my lists. THANK YOU!