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Losing It Hardcover – September 4, 2012

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 13 years
  • Grade Level: 4th - 8th
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Two Lions (September 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761462201
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761462200
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,065,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In her first middle-grade novel, Fry, a PW contributor, pens a straightforward but heartfelt novel about an obese boy who joins his school's cross-country team. Since Bennett's mother died, he has lived alone with his similarly overweight father in a loving, but junk food–filled household. When Bennett's father has a stroke, the 13-year-old tells him, "you and me have some changes to make." Bennett goes to live with a nagging aunt, who puts him on a healthier diet and forces him to walk each morning, but Bennett's own desire to change motivates him to take action. Some characterizations are reductive—such as a bully who calls Bennett "Fat Boy," but has his own painful home life—and the story's trajectory has its predictable elements. Even so, readers will grasp the intensity of Bennett's fear about trying something so outside his comfort zone ("What if I try—I mean give it absolutely everything I have—and still fail?") and appreciate his tenacity as he does the hard work to get himself on track. —Publisher's Weekly Oct, 2012

From School Library Journal

Since his mom died when he was five, Bennett and his dad have been enough for each other. Their favorite pastime is cheering on the Dodgers in front of the TV with burgers and fries close at hand. Then his father has a stroke, and Bennett goes to live with relatives. At first he resents Aunt Laura’s controlling nature as she cuts fast food from his diet and encourages him not so subtly to lead a healthier lifestyle. But seeing his dad in a coma has shaken him. Uncle Jim suggests they start walking together, and soon Bennett is jogging. His interest is sparked when he sees cross-country team flyers at school, and he apprehensively attends the first meeting of the season. As he gets involved in the sport, he has moments of sheer misery when he wants to quit, but the dawning realization that he is improving enables him to stand up to being harassed and to better help his father through a slow recovery. Even when his best friend, also overweight, tries to discourage him from his new interests, Bennett perseveres. While this story tackles serious topics, it is not heavy-handed: Bennett is engaging, and readers will recognize many of the challenges that he faces. The way that he matures as he juggles visits to his convalescing father with his other commitments and learns to appreciate his extended family is believable and inspiring. Fry has a great ear for middle school dialogue, and her light, humorous touch will ensure that readers keep turning the pages until the uplifting conclusion. —School Library Journal November 2012 Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA

More About the Author

Erin Fry has a couple of things she would consider passions: reading, writing, running, and teaching. And though it has taken a while to get here, she now gets to do all four of them--and get paid!

For over a decade, Erin has taught 6th grade language arts and history at a middle school in southern California. She also coaches cross country at her school each fall, which gets her in shape to run a half marathon or marathon every year. Since 2003, she has reviewed children's books for Publishers Weekly. This past year, she and a fellow curriculum developer co-founded Curriculum Specialists (http://curriculumspecialists.blogspot.com), through which they create common core-aligned Teacher's Guides for authors and publishers. Her first middle grade novel, LOSING IT, was published in 2012 by Amazon Children's Publishing. Her second novel, SECRETS OF THE BOOK, hits shelves in 2014 while her first YA serial, THE BENEFACTOR, released in October, 2013. She lives with (and frequently runs alongside) her husband, three children, and their golden Retriever.

You can find curriculum guides for most of her books and learn more at www.erinmfry.com.

Customer Reviews

The characters are well developed and very likable.
Annie O.
Fry's story of Bennett Robinson in "Losing It" will inspire any reader who wants to make a change.
Barbara Bell
I love the plot and the characters were intriguing and I grew to love them.
Sharon DeMeo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tina Says VINE VOICE on November 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Erin Fry's debut novel, Losing It, is a great motivational and heartwarming read. Bennett is a middle school kid who is self conscious of his oversized body, but still enjoys eating junk food and watching sports instead of playing them. When his dad suffers a stroke and Bennett is forced to move in with his aunt, Laura, Bennett's life takes some drastic turns.
I loved this novel which felt to me a little like the male version of Artichoke's Heart by Suzanne Supplee. Bennett is a character that was so human - he is a boy who has been through a lot - the death of his mom when he was just five is still with him, and he has never become close to his mom's sister, Laura, who seems overly controlling. When he is forced to move in with his aunt and her family, she initiates a healthy living movement -daily exercise and healthy meals- that will cause Bennett to begin to think about the lifestyle choices he and his father made. The decision to join the cross country team is his own, yet, he finds support from new teammates and his family that helps him to realize he can do this - despite the fact that there is a lot of hard work involved. The only person not so excited about Bennett's new lifestyle is his best friend, PG, who is also overweight.
Although the end felt a little too perfect, I have thought about Bennett a great deal since I closed this book. Fry's message is inspiring without being preachy and I can't wait to press this in the hands of many readers- both male and female. Losing It shares a wonderful message while still entertaining.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J.Prather TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Losing It by Erin Fry was a fast, fun, and ultimately an inspiring read that my 13 year old son and I both thoroughly enjoyed. Bennett Robinson is a self-described "fat kid" who shows incredible courage as he learns to cope with his father's life threatening illness and take control of his own life. This is an inspiration for young teens looking to lose weight, but even more than the weight loss issue, there's a grand narrative here of one teenager standing up and breaking free from the labels that society has placed on him. Bennett's realization that he can make his own future is wonderfully and realistically portrayed in a story that is sure to have kids cheering him on even as they think about ways they can break free of any societal boxes they might find themselves in.

Bennett is a great kid and his feelings are so achingly honest they give this story a level of drama that is usually found in adult literature. The author also includes a bullying story that seems rather like an afterthought, further driving home the theme that standing up for yourself is possible no matter what the circumstance and change can be accomplished without losing your integrity.

The author achieves a great message with this story without ever becoming heavy handed or sacrificing her strong narrative. I loved the writing, and the characters. This is proof positive that you can write great middle grade fiction for boys without sacrificing the heart and soul of the kids you are trying to portray. A must read for ages 10 and up.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Shobug on September 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a great story for any age! The character is an inspiration for those that struggle with weight issues and self esteem. He overcomes so many trials in his life. Everyone should read this book! My son is 10 and he read it in two days. He loved it!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By delicateflower152 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Losing It" is a realistic look at the trials, temptations, and struggles faced by overweight or obese middle schoolers. In Bennett Robinson, Erin Fry has given readers an inspirational, motivated protagonist who is very relatable to those facing the same issues and trying to overcome the obstacles standing in the way of reaching their goals.

Following his mother's death, Bennett - along with his father Paul - finds comfort in watching baseball while eating junk food; both are obese. When Paul, at the age of 42, suffers a sudden stroke, Bennett goes to live with his health conscious Aunt Laura's family. There, he begins to have a different perspective on his relationship with food, exercise, and living a healthier life. "Losing It" follows Bennett's journey toward reclaiming his health, his friendships, and his family.

Erin Frey has done an excellent job in presenting the dilemmas faced by overweight or obese youth. She has not glossed over the health risks overweight or obese individuals face; the consequences of failing to live a healthy life style; or the cruelty directed toward those individuals who are overweight or obese. Frey handled the emotional side of overeating with sensitivity and grace; she draws the reader into Bennett's life and struggles. I particularly liked the fact that Taylor, one of his classmates and a "cute" girl, liked Bennett as more than a friend; she saw his positive qualities rather than focusing on the "fat boy."

"Losing It" is an excellent book; it is well written and carries a positive message. I am not sure it will appeal to a wide audience because of its subject matter. However, "Losing It" by Erin Fry is a book that is well worth reading - by both the target audience and their parents.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sylviastel VINE VOICE on October 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Thirteen year old Bennett is an overweight teenager with an obese father and deceased mother when we begin the book. His father suffers a stroke and Bennett is now in the company of his health conscious aunt and uncle and their children.

Bennett's life takes a drastic turn for the better but not without fighting with his best friend, P.G. and seeing his sick father in hospital and rehab on a daily basis. Bennett is a likeable and believable teenager.

Erin Frey writes an easy to follow story but with a message about health, exercise, and bullying. Bennett is also the target of Luis, the school bully. This book can help young readers deal with today's issues about health and fitness and bullying and being the outcast.
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