CM . . .
. Volume XVI Number 3. . . .September 18, 2009
There are many things that are standard about this eating disorder novel. Like so many, the storyline begins with the main character – named Anna in this case – as she is in the worst stages of her disease. The narration then flips back in time to her early childhood and teen years, highlighting her evolving attitude towards friends and family, food and body image. Like so many novels of the genre, the main character's catharsis comes at the death of a friend who also has an eating disorder.
But Tyranny transcends the genre in spades. First, it is a graphic novel. This is a particularly apt format for the subject because the reader can see Anna's dysmorphia with their own eyes. On each page, Anna's image belies her words. Fairfield shows Anna's struggle as a conflict between two people inside the same body. The one who wants her to not eat is called Tyranny. Anna must fight with Tyranny. She must conquer Tyranny. This is a great analogy for an eating disorder. The novel as a whole is nothing short of brilliant.
I hope every school and library in the country buys this book because it could save lives. Lesley Fairfield's writing and drawings and message all shine.
Marsha Skrypuch's eleventh book, Call Me Aram, was published in 2009. Her first novel, The Hunger, was time-travel about an anorexic teen.
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