Ellie thinks she looks awful. Horrible. FAT. Her best friends are both drop-dead gorgeous and Ellie's sick of being the ugly duckling. So she goes on a diet.
Feeling like she doesn't measure up to her "drop-dead gorgeous" friends, Ellie tries to take control of her weight, and ends up battling bulimia, in Girls Under Pressure by Jacqueline Wilson, the second book in her Girls trilogy. (June) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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Delacorte Books for Young Readers
December 31, 1997
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Excerpt from Girls Under Pressure by Jacqueline Wilson
It's all my idea.
"Let's go Christmas shopping on Saturday," I say to my two best friends, Magda and Nadine.
"Great," says Magda, who lives to shop.
"Sure," says Nadine, but she looks surprised. "I thought you always made your own Christmas presents, Ellie."
"Yes, well, I think I've grown out of that stage now," I say hurriedly.
We've always had this silly tradition in my family. I'd think of a theme and then make everyone a present based on it. There was the year of the stripy hand-knitted scarves, the wobbly vases the year I joined the pottery class, the cross-stitched canvas purses . . . I made them for everyone, friends as well as family, and because people were polite I thought they really liked my loopy homemade junk.
I've known Nadine since we were both five so she's endured years of fraying dresses for her Barbie dolls and lumpy little felt mice. When we started secondary school I made Nadine a black-and-silver friendship bracelet. I made one for Magda in pink and purple. They seemed to like them. They both wore them for a while, anyway.
Last Christmas I made special boxes for all the family, studded with beads and shells. I used liquorice allsorts for Eggs's box--but he tried to lick them through the glaze and hurt his tongue. Typical. Dad and Anna act like he's an infant prodigy but I think he's got the brains of a flea. I pondered long and hard over boxes for Magda and Nadine. In the end I made Nadine a silver box with a painted silver shell design. I did an identical one in gold for Magda. She opened hers as if she was expecting something inside--and then she asked if I'd be making her a gold necklace to go in it next year. She was joking--I think. I suddenly felt about Eggs's age.
"We'll go round the Flowerfields Shopping Centre," I say firmly. "We'll buy all the presents for our families, and then we'll split up for a bit and buy each other stuff."
"And then we'll go to the Soda Fountain and have a milk shake," says Magda, getting more enthusiastic by the minute.
The Soda Fountain recently opened up on the Flowerfields basement floor. It's like those shiny ice cream parlor places you see in old American movies. It's become the in place to hang out now--rumored to be great for meeting boys. If there's one thing Magda likes better than shopping, it's boys. Lots of them.