Skin and Bones

Sixteen-year-old Jack, nicknamed “Bones,” won’t eat. His roommate in the eating disorder ward has the opposite problem and proudly goes by the nickname “Lard.” They become friends despite Bones’s initial reluctance. When Bones meets Alice, a dangerously thin dancer who loves to break the rules, he lets his guard down even more. Soon Bones is so obsessed with Alice that he’s willing to risk everything–even his recovery.

  • 272 Pages
  • 5.50" x 8.25"
  • 9780807574010
  • March 2015

Buy from Albert Whitman

  • 9780807574003
  • May 2015

Other Places to Buy


  • The writing is simple and accessible, and Bones’ warped self-image is effectively conveyed…

    - The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

  • The plot is well paced and develops quickly…

    - School Library Journal

  • Shahan has crafted a fast-moving story of addiction and first love that–refreshingly–will appeal to male readers, who don’t find themselves regularly represented in eating-disorder-treatment and -recovery fiction.

    - Booklist

  • Shahan tackles eating disorders in a fast-paced, contemporary coming-of-age novel. A quick read with a worthy message: We are all recovering from something, and the right companions can help you heal. The wrong ones can kill you.

    - Kirkus Reviews

  • Skin and Bones is a unique and engaging portrait of young people with eating disorders. Sherry Shahan does a fantastic job of accurately and non-judgmentally shining a light on the cognitive distortions that accompany eating disorders, and the behaviours that can manifest through them, without losing sight of the humanity of her characters. Protagonist Jack doesn’t want to be sick, but his eating disorder has a tight hold on his world. These seemingly contradictory elements are true for many people who suffer from an eating disorder. Congratulations to Shahan for accurately representing how eating disorders may manifest in youth, and for reminding us all that eating disorders affect men and boys as well as women. Skin and Bones is compulsively readable, touching, and surprisingly humorous. Well done!

    - Jackie Grandy, Outreach & Education Coordinator, The National Eating Disorder Information Centre

  • Misconceptions about eating disorders being a ‘female’ disease often perpetuate strong feelings of shame in males with an eating disorder. This shame often results in the denial of the eating disorder and/or reluctance to seek treatment. Male eating disorders are on the rise. A 2007 study by Harvard Medical School found that 25% (not the traditionally stated 10-15%) of study participants with anorexia and bulimia were male. An estimated 40% of those with binge eating disorder are male. It is of the utmost importance to raise awareness of this issue, Skin and Bones, does that in a non-threatening way. It reminds us to look for the warning signs of low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, feeling of worthlessness, feelings of self-loathing, and the need for acceptance. The author describes the difficulty for expressing emotion in very real terms. Skin and Bones addresses a topic much ignored in an open and honest story.

    - Sharon M. Glynn, LPN; Director of Programming, The Alliance For Eating Disorders Awareness

Common Core

RL.9-10.1,2,3,4,5,10 RL.11-12.1,2,3,4,5,6,10