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Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite
When Willow Farrington returns to school after an extended visit to the hospital, she is not only concerned with catching up academically, but she is aware of the many difficulties associated with her prescribed illness. As an anorexic, she expects the stares and the whispers and hopes that the existence of such attention will not cause a relapse. She is no longer allowed in her family kitchen by herself. She is on a strict eating schedule and is observed closely every second of every day. Willow nearly died and her parents want to rest assured that will not happen again. As Willow works diligently to stay on track, she is concerned with the topic of her recently assigned book project. She is responsible to interview author Isaac “Izzy” Silberstein, read his book, and write a book report. Little does she know that in Izzy’s past he experienced years of non-self-inflicted starvation as a work camp prisoner during World War II.
Willow Farrington Bites Back by Rebecca Bloomer is the best YA story I have read in many, many years. This novella-length book contains exceptional character development, appropriate language, and vivid, readable passages. The plot is unique and succinct in detail. Touching the often-overlooked disease of anorexia is a brave venture, especially combined with the atrocities of the treatment of the Jewish population during this time in history. This is a genius analogy. Rebecca Bloomer has stolen my heart and gained my respect as a writer. Every school library needs this work. I loved this book. I can’t wait to read more from Rebecca Bloomer.