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Young Adult Nonfiction Eating Disorders & Body Image

My Body in Pieces

illustrated by Marie-Noëlle Hébert

translated by Shelley Tanaka

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Apr 2021
Eating Disorders & Body Image, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Women, Depression & Mental Illness, Social Topics
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2021
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2021
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 14 to 18
  • Grade: 9 to 12


A deeply emotional graphic memoir of a young woman’s struggles with self-esteem and body image issues.

All Marie-Noëlle wants is to be thin and beautiful. She wishes that her thighs were slimmer, that her stomach lay flatter. Maybe then her parents wouldn’t make fun of her eating habits at family dinners, the girls at school wouldn’t call her ugly, and the boy she likes would ask her out. This all-too-relatable memoir follows Marie-Noëlle from childhood to her twenties, as she navigates what it means to be born into a body that doesn’t fall within society’s beauty standards.

When, as a young teen, Marie-Noëlle begins a fitness regime in an effort to change her body, her obsession with her weight and size only grows and she begins having suicidal thoughts. Fortunately for Marie-Noëlle, a friend points her in the direction of therapy, and slowly, she begins to realize that she doesn’t need the approval of others to feel whole.

Marie-Noëlle Hébert’s debut graphic memoir is visually stunning and drawn entirely in graphite pencil, depicting a deeply personal and emotional journey that encourages us to all be ourselves without apology.

Key Text Features
graphic novel
comic style

About the authors

MARIE-NOËLLE HÉBERT lives in Montreal. Largely self-taught, she studied advertising illustration at Collège Salette. She did a series of illustrations for the documentary Carricks, dans le sillage des Irlan­dais by Viveka Melki (Tortuga Films, 2017) and illustrated the children’s book Le voyage de Kalak (Cuento de luz, 2018). The French edition of My Body in Pieces, her first graphic novel, was awarded the Prix des libraires du Québec in 2020.


Marie-Noëlle Hébert's profile page

SHELLEY TANAKA is an award-winning author, translator and editor. She has written more than twenty books for children and young adults, winning the Orbis Pictus Award, the Mr. Christie’s Book Award, the Science in Society Book Award and the Information Book Award, and she has twice been nominated for the Deutsche Jugendliteraturpreis. Other honors include Texas Blue Bonnet runner-up, School Library Journal Best Books, ALA Notables and IRA Young Adults’ Choice. Her translation of Michel Noel’s Good for Nothing won the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People and was on the IBBY Honor List (Commended). Shelley teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts, in the MFA Program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She lives in Kingston, Ontario.


Shelley Tanaka's profile page


  • Commended, OLA Best Bets

Editorial Reviews

[W]ell told and beautifully illustrated … a book that needs to be read.

CM Review of Materials

The strongest element of the book is the gripping and gorgeous illustrations, which capture Marie-Noëlle’s emotions and magnify the spare dialogue and descriptions. … A touching story about love, forgiveness, and self-acceptance.

Kirkus Reviews

H]eartbreakingly honest.

Montreal Review of Books

A striking debut and an impressive graphic novel that deserves a home on your shelf.

Cloud Lake Literary

I was touched by this story that refuses to be decorous or falsely resolve the questions it poses about inherited shame and self acceptance. Marie-Noëlle Hébert takes the violence of fatphobia and creates something truly vulnerable and unapologetic: a book that takes up space and that confronts the beauty dogma and body hatred bequeathed to girls from a very young age.

Kyo Maclear, award-winning author of Operatic

[T]his graphic memoir presents an honest look at how quickly advice given with love can start to feel like hate.


This dreamy, visually acute remembrance of ­reclaiming one’s body in its complex beauty is powerfully personal.

School Library Journal

[A] raw, cathartic debut graphic memoir.

Publishers Weekly

Hébert’s illustrations in graphite pencil … are not only breathtaking but also searing. …My Body in Pieces reminds young readers of all genders that perfection doesn’t exist and encourages them to both accept and love them-selves without apology.

Quill & Quire

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