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Inside Out: Portrait of an Eating Disorder Hardcover – July 24, 2007


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (July 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689852169
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689852169
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,386,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this heartfelt, honest memoir, the author uses a graphic novel format to reveal her anguished, ongoing struggle with bulimia. Shivack's story unfolds largely through rudimentary drawings with captions and speech balloons, many created on paper napkins while she was being treated for her eating disorder. Setting the scene, the author initially depicts her rather contentious relationship with her mother, a Holocaust survivor who had very strong ideas about food, insisting that her three daughters finish everything on their dinner plates even though she herself ate only once a day (just enough to keep herself going, not a bite more). Shivack notes that her eating disorder (which she depicts as a monster named Ed) started when she began swimming competitively in high school—her coach criticized those swimmers who needed to lose weight. Feeling a part of that category, Shivack launched a regimen of binging, purging and compulsive exercising. In a poignant drawing, she likens her daily routine as a teen to a perilous climb up a steep, jagged mountain. Her dizzying downward spiral is sobering indeed, as her bulimia takes over her life and she becomes suicidal. Yet Shivack ends on a hopeful note, vowing, as an adult, to continue on her road to recovery. Statistics about eating disorders are found throughout the book, which concludes with a list of resources. Though intensely personal and—perhaps of necessity—repetitious, this harrowing chronicle may well provide support and solace to teens facing a similar crisis. Ages 12-up. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Nadia Shivack was born in Flushing, New York, but grew up in Manhattan. She studied at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, the City College of New York, and Columbia University, where she focused on occupational therapy. She now lives in Tuscon, Arizona, where she makes jewelry, and draws and paints when she has the courage.

Nadia has just completed a program at Recovery Support Specialist Institute and plans to work in the area of mental health. She deeply believes this work will help her continue to define her own recovery and the awareness that she is far more than an eating disorder.

Nadia continues to recover with the help of her kitty, Lily, and her dog, Lucy.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on July 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In Nadia Shivack's heartbreaking true story, she tells the world about her life-long problem with eating disorders. Told with a mixture of text and pictures drawn by Ms. Shivack, her preoccupation with food began when her mother told her that not only did she not dress like a girl, but that she was also getting chunky. Her parents had their own problems - her father was overly critical and her mother, a Holocaust survivor, refused to let her three children leave the table until they had cleaned their plates, even though she herself only ate one small meal a day to survive.

When Nadia began swimming competitively in school, her swim coach would praise the girls who were slender and berate those who, in his opinion, needed to lose weight. She began to feel huge and unattractive, and started the cycle of abuse with restricting her diet and then binging on foods that were not allowed. It wasn't long before she met "Ed," her eating disorder - the evil alien being who took over her life.

Nadia's trouble with food was not restricted to her youth. Through high school, through college, through study programs and medication, she struggled with it her entire life. Even knowing the side effects - being unable to sleep, rotting gums from purging, being incapable of having effective relationships - it wasn't until Nadia was about to turn forty that she decided to try another treatment program.

Thankfully, Ms. Shivack did eventually overcome the horror of her eating disorder. Like many other diseases, however, she knows that this will be a lifelong struggle, something that she will always have to work at.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. Fox on January 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As a former anorexic/bulimic, I have read a plethora of self-help books on the subject, but none that saw eating disorders from the inside out as this book does. Ironically, it wasn't until I heard back from a young library patron about how this book had comforted her that I realized that it truly is a self-help book and not just a very painful autobiography. The author puts us through at least 60 pages of living hell, and truly, she doesn't overcome her disorder as much as she learns to detatch and distance herself from it - at age 40. What is most refreshing (if anything in this book could be called that) is the humor and the mode of presentation: somewhat like "Amelia gone to Eating Disorder Hell" journals. Her talented and obsessive writing is at times concrete poetry and at other times reminiscent of Dante's Inferno, illuminating the dark corners of this obsession. There are few, if any, books that adequately portray the angst and manage to comfort sufferers: make sure this book is in your library! Includes afterword, helpful websites, acknowledgements, and a list of eating disorder factoids.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nur Alima on April 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As someone who owns over a hundred books on eating disorders, I found this particular book to be a great asset to my ever expanding collection. I found this author's honesty and artistic expression very engaging and enlighting as well as truly moving. This book is not a novel in the "expected" sense. It is a story and an creative expression of a brave woman who captures the decent and hell of a destructive and deadly eating disorder. I for one like the fact that this book is so different and individualistic.
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