Sunday, June 19, 2016
Review of Still A Work In Progress by Jo Knowles
In a return to middle-grade fiction, master of perspectives Jo Knowles depicts a younger sibling struggling to maintain his everyday life while coping with his sister's secret struggle.
Noah is just trying to make it through seventh grade. The girls are confusing, the homework is boring, and even his friends are starting to bug him. Not to mention that his older sister, Emma, has been acting pretty strange, even though Noah thought she'd been doing better ever since the Thing They Don't Talk About. The only place he really feels at peace is in art class, with a block of clay in his hands. As it becomes clear through Emma's ever-stricter food rules and regulations that she's not really doing better at all, the normal seventh-grade year Noah was hoping for begins to seem pretty unattainable. In an affecting and realistic novel with bright spots of humor, Jo Knowles captures the complexities of navigating middle school while feeling helpless in the face of a family crisis
Still A Work In Progress starts of fairly light hearted but once the story picks up steam it addresses a serious issue that affects countless people. Jo Knowles handles the sensitive topic of eating disorders with grace which is hard to do given the subject matter. Through her words she has given us a look into what people who suffer from eating disorders go through on a regular basis. It's not pretty but it is honest and unflinchingly realistic. Still A Work In Progress shows how eating disorders affect the person who has it but it also shows how it affects the people closest to them.