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Haddix, Margaret Peterson .
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2002
IL 3-6, RL 5.7
ISBN 0689832982

(3 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

How would you feel if your hair started falling out for no reason? What do you do? Do you wear a wig to hide it from everyone at school? Do you tell your class? Ten-year-old Anya, who has alopecia areata, chooses to wear a wig so no one will know her hair has fallen out, but “popular” Stef realizes it’s a wig and tries to get Keely to give it a tug to test it. For once, Keely refuses to do what Stef wants and realizes Anya needs help, particularly after the wig accidentally comes off in gym one day. Anya is mortified and doesn’t want to come back to school. Read this book to find out how Anya and her family begin to cope with Anya’s disorder and what surprising thing Keely does to help.

Prepared by: Leigh Ann Bryant for The South Carolina Children's Book Award nominees 2005

Booktalk #2

Fourth grader Anya has lost all of her hair due to a disease called alopecia areata and now has to wear a wig. She is scared that her classmates will find out and make fun of her. Keely and her friends know that something is different about Anya, and guess that she is wearing a wig, but they think she is dying of cancer. Stef, the leader of the group, wants Keely to tug on her hair and see if it is real, but Keely sees the pain in Anya’s eyes and wants to help her. Will Stef, the bossiest girl in school, insist on humiliating Anya, or can there be another way to deal with the way things and people are? Read this story to find out!  (Jean B. Bellavance for Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2004-2005)

Booktalk #3

Why do people wear wigs? Let students give several answers. What if a ten year old, 4th grade started losing her hair and was forced to wear a wig to hide her hair loss, how would you treat her? Meet  Anya a girl who is experiencing hair loss from a disease called alopecia areata. She is very self conscious of her wig and just knows that all her 4th grade classmates are talking behind her back and laughing at her. Stef the most popular girl in 4th grade and her three close friends do know that Anya is wearing a wig. Out of curiosity about why Anya is wearing a wig, Stef wants the three girls to pull  off Anya’s wig. Then the girls could see why Anya was wearing a wig. The unthinkable happens during gym class, Anya’s wig gets caught on something while she is doing cartwheels and her wig does come off. Her classmates saw her hair loss. Anya grabbed the wig and took off running until she made it home. She stayed in her room and cried and would not go back to school. Keely especially wanted to do something to help Anya and persuade her to come back to school, so she went to visit Anya. While the girls were talking, Anya told Keely that the only way that she could help would be to give Anya her hair. Because of Anya by Margaret Peterson Haddix, can Keely find the strength and courage to do something positive for Anya? Can Keely give her hair to Anya and can Keely persuade her classmates to give up their hair for Anya and others who have a disease called alopecia areata?  (Becky Proctor,,  school librarian at Dorchester Academy, St. George, SC)

SUBJECTS:     Baldness -- Fiction.
                        Schools -- Fiction


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