Samuel Pollen


Samuel grew up in Cheshire and now lives in London. He’s a writer, runner, crocheter and serial dog-botherer who recently ran the London Marathon for the first time, completing it in under three and a half hours. He works as a copywriter and in his spare time photographs his fiancée’s cookery creations, and writes teen and YA novels.


The Year I Didn’t Eat came out of a post he wrote for Medium about managing Christmas with an eating disorder.


Max is a thoughtful, appealing narrator to whom readers will relate, and his story brings attention to an illness most commonly associated with girls and older teens or adults. This no-holds-barred, debut novel based on the author’s own experiences as a tween will be a significant addition to any library’s middle-grade or teen collection.

Booklist review

Telling the story in a candid, often humorous first-person narrative, debut author Pollen draws Max’s life and recovery process realistically as a series of steps and setbacks: obsessive running and calorie-counting, a Christmas meal plan gone awry, and Ana’s constant voice (“Do you really need to eat that?”) share billing with school humor, moments of hope, and a loving family life.

Publisher's Weekly

Pollen writes from the inside about anorexia, effectively communicating the feelings, obsessions, and difficulties Max experiences and making it clear that it is an equal-opportunity disorder. Readers will appreciate the raw and real portrayal of anorexia from a group often left out of the conversation.

Kirkus Reviews