Gerber, Alyson

Taking Up Space

(2) YA Seventh-grade basketball player Sarah loves to "crush it on the court" with her best friends, Ryan and Emilia. "It's not hard for me to say what I need in basketball, because the rules are clear." Unfortunately, Sarah doesn't have the same confidence about food and eating. Her mother, who has her own complicated history with disordered eating, either controls what and how much Sarah eats or forgets to feed her altogether. When puberty-related sluggishness affects her game, Sarah decides to follow her own misguided "rules of being healthy," which she's cobbled together from her mom and her coach. Her unhealthy eating habits spiral, but fortunately she has a caring support system of friends and adults to help her confront her problem. Writing from personal experience, Gerber (Braced and Focused) is no stranger to tackling difficult topics; Sarah is a sympathetic character whose first-person perspective believably portrays the confusion, discomfort, denial, and isolation that come from having issues with food. Friendship drama (Sarah secretly likes Emilia's crush), basketball action, and cooking scenes enhance the narrative. This book's positive approach to body and mental health issues will reassure readers that "taking up space" is absolutely okay.


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