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  • Hodder Children's Books

Weighing It Up

Ali Valenzuela

3 Reviews

Rated 0

For National Curriculum Key Stage 3, For National Curriculum Key Stage 4 & GCSE, Interest age: from c 12 years, Prose: non-fiction, True stories (Children's / Teenage)

A teenager's frank account of her battle to overcome anorexia - from the brink of death to supporting other sufferers of eating disorders.

When Ali Valenzuela was 14, she started to exercise obsessively and limit her food intake - all following an incident which completely undermined her self-confidence. By the time she was 18 - and sitting A-level exams - her weight had fallen below 40kg (less than 6 stone) and was on the brink of death. At that point she was admitted to hospital, but had to be sent to a private hospital in Bristol as there were no appropriate facilities nearer home (Swansea). She spent 3 months there - although her local health authority would guarantee funding for only 6 weeks at a time.

Since she left hospital, Ali has got involved in campaigning for proper facilities for treating eating disorders, has been doing temp jobs, and has a place at university when she is strong enough to take it up. Ali has written this book, based on her own diaries, because:

'I want people to understand that there is more to anorexia than looking thin; this is an illness that will destroy the lives of the sufferer and all who care for the sufferer, and the thin appearance is only a physical outcome of the pain and torment that goes on inside.

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Praise for Weighing It Up

  • Painfully honest, powerful and emotional ... An important book for anyone involved in the life of someone suffering from what can be a terminal illness. - The Bookseller

  • frank and compelling - Carousel

  • The most honest diary that I ever had the priviledge to read. ... truly inspirational and quite life changing ... a compelling account and one that I couldn't put down. It would support other sufferers but I feel other teenagers would benefit from reading such an honest and personal story. - School Librarian

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