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Warning: This Book May Be Hazardous to Your Health

by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

Wintergirls Cover

Laurie Halse Anderson's newest book has created a controversy: people are worried that it will hurt you.

Anderson's previous books have dealt with serious subject matter such as date rape and slavery. Her newest book, Wintergirls, is about anorexia. It is getting fantastic reviews, and has already been nominated for the Young Adult Library Service Associations' list of Best Books for Young Adults. Despite this, Wintergirls is already being challenged.

Some people are concerned that the book could serve as a "how-to" manual for teens who may become anorexic. Does a book have the power to make you do something that's bad for you?

Anderson has a gift for speaking to teens in an honest voice about subjects that are often avoided. She wrote the book, which is heavily researched, after her readers started telling her about their eating disorders.

In a podcast in this review, Anderson says that she submitted Wintergirls to experts and asked about the possibility of it being a "trigger" that will cause people to develop eating disorders. They told her that our culture "glamorizes" eating disorders, and that actions as simple as watching TV or reading a magazine can be triggers. Anderson notes, "the challenge in the book they felt I had met was to show the entire story. And there's nothing glamorous or lovely about an eating disorer - it's horror."

Another reviewer defends the book: "Teens today are flooded with images that promote a negative body image. This is often linked with a message of success, beauty, control. . . . Laurie Halse Anderson’s exquisite novel provides a better understanding of the disease."

anorexic teen

Meanwhile, the editor of the UK Vogue has (shockingly) denounced major fashion houses for promoting underweight models. She says that the overseas Vogue goes so far as to retouch models to look bigger!

For more information on anorexia and other eating disorders, have a look at the site for the Calgary Eating Disorder Program, the Canadian Mental Health Association, or the National Eating Disorder Information Centre. You can also check out the book Going Hungry.

What do you think? Can Wintergirls cause teens to develop anorexia? Is the fashion world at fault for the larger problem
?

Streaming Music

by Alexandra May - 0 Comment(s)

How do you get your music? I like to use the library's huge CD collection, but I also listen to streaming music online. Here are some great sites:

finetune

It's easy - type in an artist, and finetune will create a playlist of streaming radio for you. The site has something called a Recommendation Engine, and its job is to give you more music you like, based on you already love. When your playlist is done, finetune gives you a string of code that you can post in your blog or MySpace. Then your friends can hear it, too!

last.fm

Last.fm is a social networking site that lets you create playlists and connect with your friends. It will also connect to iTunes and other music players to automatically create top 10 lists of your favourite songs for you to share.This site will also recommend new artists and has streaming video.

maestro.fm

Maestro.fm is another social music site, which enables you to access the music on your computer through a web browser, from anywhere in the world. You can also listen to your friends' playlists, and get music news, photos, and lyrics.

imeem

imeem is also a social site. This one allows you to tag, comment, and rate your and your friends' content. Like Facebook, you can join groups for your favourite bands or events. This site also supports photos, video, and blogs.

...And don't forget to check out the library's site! Have a look at our newest CDs, and if there's something you want that we don't have, let us know!

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