Big Fat Manifesto

Susan Vaught, Author . Bloomsbury $16.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-59990-206-7

High school senior Jamie Carcaterra is not just fat; as she puts it, “I am THE Fat Girl, baby.” In an attempt to enlighten fellow classmates about the indignities and injustices she faces daily, Jamie writes a weekly feature for her high school paper and calls it the Fat Girl Manifesto. The manifesto could land her a journalism scholarship for feature writing, which she desperately desires. Vaught (Trigger ) upends stereotypes about fat girls via Jamie’s bracing, take-no-prisoners columns and in Jamie’s first-person account of her year. The supremely confident Fat Girl persona is hard to resist, and more believable than many of the situations the author piles on: the fat boyfriend who undergoes risky gastric bypass surgery and suffers complications; the overblown media reaction to Jamie’s columns; the blossoming romance with the handsome high school paper’s editor-in-chief. The novel reads in places more like a rant than an emotionally involving story, and much of the Fat Girl Manifesto will be familiar (vanity sizing, the ineffectiveness of fad diets, etc.). But teens who persevere will be rewarded with some priceless scenes, such as Jamie and friends going undercover to document the discriminatory behavior of sales clerks in a clothing boutique; and with carefully prepared revelations, especially Jamie’s eventual awareness that she may be more limited by her anger than by her weight. Thought-provoking and, frequently, vigorous. Ages 12-up. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 01/07/2008
Release date: 12/01/2007
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-59990-506-8
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