Wintergirls, published in the spring of 2009, tells the story of Lia, who is on a quest to be the skinniest girl at school. Told from Lia’s point of view, it carefully captures the mind of a girl consumed with anorexia. As she counts calories and then exercises those calories away, she watches her weight drop, even as she lies to herself and to her family that she is okay. It’s an honest, heart-wrenching book that follows Lia’s journey through her illness and into her first steps to recovery and health.

Anderson is the award winning writer of contemporary and historical young adult novels such as Speak, Catalyst, and Chains. In the acknowledgments to Wintergirls, she says, “I journeyed into the land of the Wintergirls because of the countless readers who wrote and talked to me about their struggles with eating disorders, cutting, and feeling lost. Their courage and honesty put me on the path to find Lia and helped me understand her brokenness. While Lia’s story is not based on any living person, it was inspired by those readers, and I thank them.” You can visit Anderson’s website at, and access resources and a teacher’s discussion guide for Wintergirls at

Download a PDF of the Wintergirls Book Talk.