I received this book at no cost from the publisherTaking Up Space by Alyson Gerber
Published by Scholastic Inc. on May 18, 2021
Publisher : Scholastic Inc. (May 18, 2021)
Language : English
Hardcover : 272 pages
ISBN-10 : 1338186000
ISBN-13 : 978-1338186000
Praise for TAKING UP SPACE
“This affirming novel offers a normalizing message about discussing body image and mental health.” —Publishers Weekly
“[Gerber] supplies a positive representation of constructive approaches to an often misunderstood condition…Pragmatic and valuable.” —Kirkus Reviews
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
Scholastic Summer 2021 Dewey Diva Picks — Shortlist
Sarah loves basketball more than anything. Crushing it on the court makes her feel like she matters. And it’s the only thing that helps her ignore how much it hurts when her mom forgets to feed her.
But lately Sarah can’t even play basketball right. She’s slower now and missing shots she should be able to make. Her body doesn’t feel like it’s her own anymore. She’s worried that changing herself back to how she used to be is the only way she can take control over what’s happening.
When Sarah’s crush asks her to be partners in a cooking competition, she feels pulled in a million directions. She’ll have to dig deep to stand up for what she needs at home, be honest with her best friends, and accept that she doesn’t need to change to feel good about herself.
Sarah’s mother forgets to give her food and it becomes more of an issue as she can maintain the energy that she needs to play the sport she loves – basketball. She resorts to quick fixes like candy to get energy when needed but when she is given a handout in health class about healthy eating, it starts to change the way she thinks about what is fueling her body. Of course, there is also the boy she really likes and is teamed up with him in a competition involving food which makes the issue even more intense.
This is a sneaky book – it is so pleasurable to read that the message comes across without you realizing it. It took me back to my own middle-grade adventures and while I was lucky and never struggled with eating disorders until my 20;s and honestly don’t know of anyone who hasn’t struggled with food in their life. This story gets to the heart of the matter, that it is very difficult these days to have a positive body image with all of the apps that change people’s appearance and young girls are trying to meet standards that are unattainable.
Alyson Gerber is the author of the critically-acclaimed, own-voices novels Braced and Focused published by Scholastic. Her third novel Taking Up Space will be in stores on May 18, 2021. She has an MFA from The New School in Writing for Children and lives in New York City with her family. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AlysonGerber.
Braced, Focused, and Taking Up Space are all Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selections. Braced received three starred reviews and has been nominated for state book awards in Oklahoma, Indiana, New Hampshire, Virginia, South Dakota, and Georgia. Focused was picked as a best book of year by The Today Show, Kirkus Reviews, and A Mighty Girl and has been nominated for state book awards in Rhode Island, Oklahoma, and Michigan. Alyson’s latest novel, Taking Up Space, based on her experience with disordered eating, will be published on May 18, 2021. Taking Up Space will help readers recognize how much they matter and see that if something negative is taking up space in their minds, even if there isn’t a name for it, they should ask for help.
- What is on your nightstand?
A pen, notebook, Sherlock Holmes, and three flat seltzers.
- What author would you totally fan?
Probably Stewart Gibbs. I love the Spy School series. And I feel like we’re friends (even though we’ve never met), because our books are always next to each other in bookstores.
- What makes you cringe?
Lies. It’s the worst for me when I can tell someone is lying to themself, because I’ve been there.
- Do you obsessively plot out each point or just go with the flow?
When I sit down to write a book, I usually have done a lot of thinking about the story and why it matters to me. I have an idea of where I want the plot to start and also how it will end. I never plan what’s going to happen in the middle. That’s the fun part of writing for me. I get to go on an adventure with the characters!
- Is there a word you love to use?
I love the word “literally.” I love to say it and think it and write it.
- Also, if you have any pictures of your pet you would like to share, please attach them. My readers love animals!
We don’t have any real pets. BUT my 3-year-old daughter has a lot of “real pretend” animals.