The Best Little Girl in the World Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Best Little Girl in the World

Kessa starts deliberately losing weight in an effort to please her ballet teacher. However, once she realizes how accomplished it makes her feel, she can't stop. She becomes obsessive about food, eating as little as possible, cutting her portions into fourths and eighths and sixteenths, until her preoccupation with weight loss takes over her entire life.
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   Her controlling father, repressed mother, and brothers who constantly steal the attention at home only fuel the fire that keeps Kessa from eating.   She is taken through a group of doctors and psychiatrists, none who seem to be of any help, until Kessa is faced with her last hope: hospitalization.
The review of this Book prepared by Pamela

Francesca is a typical teenager who loves ballet. In an effort to encourage her to become a better dancer, her ballet instructor suggests that she watch her weight. Although Francesca is not fat, she begins to view her body as grossly obese. She begins to dramatically cut back on her food intake and to significantly increase her physical activity. As her parents begin to notice the change in Francesca, they insist that she stop what they consider to be foolishness, and eat.

Felling trapped, Francesca has no choice but to eat the meals placed before her. She tries to cut her meals in tiny little pieces and spend most of her time simply moving food around. After a while, her parents knew what she was up to. Francesca also did not like her name. She thought that it was a name given to a fat person. Since she does not want to be fat, she decides that she wants to be called Kessa. She believes that, as Kessa, she cannot be forced to eat what she believes will make her fat. After completing a meal, she would run to the bathroom and force herself to vomit. Over time, Kessa becomes dangerously thin.

Eventually, she is admitted into a hospital which treats eating disorders. Kessa must be monitored closely. Kessa is required to attend group therapy and is eventually discharged. She is weighed every day. In order to stay out of the hospital, Kessa must either maintain or gain weight. Kessa feels so trapped. Through the support of friends and family, she is able to begin the journey back to healthy living.

The review of this Book prepared by Tracy Alexander

Chapter Analysis of The Best Little Girl in the World

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Struggle over    -   fatness Battle with a psychiatrist    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a teen Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American) Unusual characteristics:    -   Mentally ill


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   2 () United States    -   Yes City?    -   Yes City:    -   New York

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Steven Levenkron Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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