Title: Because of Anya
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Ten-year-old girls don't wear wigs.So why is Anya wearing one? That's what Keely wants to know. But when Anya's wig falls off in front of the whole class, Keely realizes what she really wants is to help Anya, even though she's not sure how -- and even though it means she'll have to do something she's afraid of: stand up to her friends.
As for Anya, she just wants her hair to grow back, but no one can tell her whether it ever will. How can she learn to accept her disease when she can't even look in the mirror?
I kept picking up this book and putting it back down for almost a year, mostly because I never seemed to have time to read it (even though it's about 115 pages). It's another juvenile book (I seem to be enjoying those lately), but it had a rather "adult" theme.
The book switches between the views of Anya and Keely, two 10-year-olds. The span of the book is only about a week, and most of the action happens within roughly three days if I remember correctly.
Anya has a disorder called "Alopecia Areata" which is when a person's boy essentially becomes allergic to their own hair and as a result it can fall out in different amounts.
There is a constant lesson throughout this about image and acceptance. Anya learns to accept herself, and to have the courage to face the others in her class, while her class learns to be tolerant. I think the biggest self transformation was for Keely, who learned to be her own person.
I recommend this to everyone who needs a lesson in tolerance, and for younger kids especially.
(And I totally stole the stars image idea from my friend who writes the blog Little Bookworm Reviews, go check her out!)