Saturday, December 5, 2009

Weighty Issues, #2

My Big Fat Manifesto by Susan Vaught (NY: Bloomsbury, 2008)

Jamie Carcaterra is a fat girl on a mission: to broadcast the seamy underside of being overweight in a weight obsessed culture. She's writing a feature column during her senior year to expose all the crap she has to put up with--from snotty shop clerks to the lack of cute clothes for teens of her dimensions. She doesn't want sympathy--she doesn't have time for it with her busy schedule that includes a boyfriend and a big role in an upcoming school musical. Then her boyfriend decides to have bariatric surgery and Jamie's world starts wobbling.

Jamie is a great protagonist with a lot to say about the issues facing overweight individuals, especially teens. In particular, the novel shows the dangers associated with gastric bypass surgery--it's not a magic wand for fat people to become thin. There are dangers and it is not appropriate (or even possible) for some people. Additionally, Jamie shows that appearance should not matter so much and how much it hurts people when it does.

Excellent teen read, grades 9 and up. Sexual situations and cussing!

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