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About the book
  • Published: 1 June 2012
  • ISBN: 9781869798819
  • Imprint: Random House New Zealand
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 192
Categories:

Losing It


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NZ Post Children's Book Award-winning young adult novel about a young girl’s journey back from anorexia to health and independence.

NZ Post Children's Book Award-winning young adult novel about a young girl’s journey back from anorexia to health and independence

Johanna is in hospital, writing letters to her best friend, Issy: letters because for Johanna, most things that we take for granted have turned into privileges. She can only have visitors, leave her room, or even use the phone, if she starts to eat.

Johanna suffers from anorexia, and her condition has reached a point where doctors, nurses, and counsellors have had to find new ways to encourage, bribe, cajole–or, as she thinks, punish her–into returning to a normal weight. As Johanna exchanges letters with Issy, and her own family, the novel is also peppered with extracts from Johanna’s diary, quotations from the hospital notice boards, poems, and even bathroom graffiti. Johanna offers us wry, insightful portraits of her fellow patients in the ward.

Counterbalancing her experience, Issy offers us a picture of a full family, school and social life, a life that Johanna has left behind … for a while at least. Slowly, we–and Johanna–start to unravel the history that brought her to these desperate circumstances. It’s the story of a young girl struggling to understand her mother’s actions, and taking on too much responsibility because of an adult’s inability to cope; it’s also the story of how Johanna, through witnessing the worst possible outcome of anorexia, begins to pull herself back to recovery.

Sandy McKay tackles a very sober topic with a lightness of touch that neither undermines the gravity of the subject, nor skirts the most difficult truths about the condition.

  • Pub date: 1 June 2012
  • ISBN: 9781869798819
  • Imprint: Random House New Zealand
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 192

About the Author

Sandy McKay

Sandy McKay is an experienced writer for children; she is the author of over 12 titles, most notably, Recycled, My Dad the All Black, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, Losing It and One Stroppy Jockey. She was the recipient of the Dunedin College of Education Writer in Residency in 2001, and her books have been short-listed for the NZ Post and LIANZA awards and listed as Storylines Notable Books.

Sandy won the Junior Fiction Category of the NZ Post Children's Book Awards for Recycled. Her landmark book, Losing It, was short-listed for the Esther Glen Award and dramatised by Radio NZ.

She also writes for younger children, having three titles in the popular Penguin Kiwi Bites series. (I'm Telling on You, Barry and Bitsa, and Me and Jason Ballinger) as well as titles in the Walker Books series (Mr Tripp Smells a Rat, and Mr Tripp Goes for a Skate). Sandy's junior historical novel When our Jack Went to War was published in 2013.

Sandy lives in Dunedin with her husband Craig, daughter Meg and a high spirited spaniel called Lucy. They also have two adult sons who live 'not too far away'. She enjoys writing books that are accessible to a wide range of ages. And when not writing, she works as an adult literacy tutor.

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