Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Fat Boy Chronicles, by Diane Lang and Michael Buchanan

Jimmy Winterpock always gets teased by the football team for being fat.  He’s not just a little overweight, mind you, but just plain fat.  Thanks to a writing journal kept for his English class, we get to follow along over the course of the school year as Jimmy works to slim down with healthy lifestyle changes.  Jimmy is thrilled to see the changes in his body, and along the way he discovers that nearly all of his school friends have some kind of personal problems as well.

Even though this book seems to be focused on Jimmy’s personal struggle with obesity, I found myself even more sympathetic to the other kids at his school.  Adolescence is hard enough by itself, but you’re really creating a recipe for disaster when you add in other risks like abusive parents, depression or learning disabilities.  Although this book is clearly categorized as “young adult” due to its mature themes, I’d actually recommend it for parents as well.  Jimmy’s journal provides a window into the mind of a teenager, and the issues they could be silently struggling with.   

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