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Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies Paperback – February 5, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

When Celeste’s meddling aunt enters her in the Miss Husky Peach Pageant for “larger sized girls,” the eighth-grader quails at the thought of the teasing that’s sure to follow, though the idea of modeling has its appeal. Reasoning that if she loses enough weight, she’ll be ineligible for the contest, Celeste finds the motivation to skip snacks and even to exercise. Along the way, she begins to express her individuality through the unlikely vehicle of a beauty contest. Successes, flops, humiliations, and recoveries are all part of the pageant process, and even girls who don’t see themselves as potential models will enjoy Celeste’s account of her experiences. The wry first-person narrative also provides convincing views of middle-school friendships, family dynamics, and incremental personal growth. The ending may be a bit too rosy for absolute realism, but readers rooting for Celeste won’t complain. A light, well-paced first novel. Grades 6-8. --Carolyn Phelan


It's a clever premise...engaging [scenes]...readers will warm to Celeste. --Kirkus Reviews

The wry, funny tone makes this book a pleasurable read, and teens of all body types will enjoy Celeste's original voice. --School Library Journal

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 690L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Dial Books (February 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803732961
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803732964
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Erin Dionne writes humorous books with heart for tweens. Her titles--which are very long--have been named to several state reading lists, ALA lists, and have received some nice attention. They include MODELS DON'T EAT CHOCOLATE COOKIES (Dial 2009), THE TOTAL TRAGEDY OF A GIRL NAMED HAMLET (Dial 2010), and NOTES FROM AN ACCIDENTAL BAND GEEK (Dial 2011). Her latest novel, MOXIE AND THE ART OF RULE BREAKING:A 14 DAY MYSTERY (Dial 2013), has the longest title yet and is based on the real-life Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum art heist. She spends an inappropriate amount of time on Facebook, teaches writing at Montserrat College of Art, and lives outside of Boston with her husband, two children, and a very indignant dog.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 96 people found the following review helpful By M. Pie on November 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
I am currently a fifth grade teacher and picked this book up because it seemed an interesting conversation piece for my girls, many of whom have serious issues with body image already. I was not at all pleased after reading it. Throughout the piece, the character Celeste is never empowered by her own wants, dreams and aspirations; instead, she is ignored and caves in to the taunting of her classmates, the wants of her family and the opinions of everyone else. Furthermore, characters like Lively are caricatures; they are way too wicked to be believable, for even the nastiest of bullies should have the slightest complexity in them that make readers sympathize with their behavior, even if they deem it wrong. Lively's behavior is flat out evil - no underlying insecurities, no problems at home to make her overcompensate with cruelty to others - she's just a creep who is inexplicably popular, and there is no other explanation for it. This just makes the characters seem stupid for listening to a single, solitary word she says, and her power as a bully weak and confusing. Bottom line - this book leaves the readers with several unsettling underlying messages. Fat is bad and something to conceal, change, or be ashamed of. If you are fat, you probably adhere to overweight stereotypes - you sit around eating too much, you hate sports and you dream of being thin enough for boys to like. I mean, forget about the fact that some overweight girls ARE athletic, have self confidence, and perhaps got that way for a medical reason - that couldn't be true. Meanwhile, thin/pretty/model material is good and something to be proud of. Once Celeste started losing weight, THAT'S when she started "finding" herself. Bullies may be mean, but they win, because their taunts have power over us.Read more ›
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Debbie's World of Books on June 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book. Maybe it's because I have a soft spot for overweight young girls being as that was me in middle school and high school. I thought Dionne handled the weight issue very well showing that while eating healthy and exercising can help you lose weight what is really important is how you feel about yourself. Celeste was a loveable character who you have to feel sorry for as she is picked on by by the "popular" kids and abandoned by her best friend. This story was a nice mix of humor, discovering what is really important in friendships and most of all being confident in yourself no matter how you feel you may look.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Ri Q. on December 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
Talk about a good book! "Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies" is a novel that I will never forget. It combines the two problems that some girl teens may ponder about: if they are getting fat and facing the queen bee in school. Erin Dionne mixed together the plot perfectly, and I finished the book in a single day. I was unwilling to put it down. I would recommend this to all teenage girls around me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Wyote VINE VOICE on March 25, 2013
Format: Paperback
I'm a teacher and a middle-aged man, probably not the target audience of the book.... But I need more "girl books" for my classes and this has been an excellent choice in most ways.

The character of Celeste is real, and I mean really real. I've taught a few Celestes, at least the way she is in the beginning of the story: thoroughly ashamed of her body, unable to believe she could do anything about it (whether she could or not), allowing many of her peers to disrespect her, spending a lot of energy every day just trying to avoid being confronted too directly with her own shame. And in reality, she would probably be ok if she could just get a little genuine confidence, a sense of her own worth as a person, a bit more awareness of her power.


The story goes better for this Celeste than it does for many young women. She learns how to put on makeup skillfully, she makes better decisions about her diet and lifestyle. And then she's surrounded by people telling her she's beautiful.

The important point - hopefully all the teen readers will notice! (though I sadly see that not all the adults did) - is that not so much actually changes on the outside. She loses nine pounds. Nine pounds is not nothing and on most figures it would make a difference, but she didn't actually become thin. She starts wearing lip gloss. Nine pounds and lip gloss. Those things must help of course, but The Real Change in true bildungsroman style is that she gains strength and confidence and insight, especially into herself. She starts standing up for herself, she dumps a fake friend for some genuine ones.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lexie VINE VOICE on October 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
I laughed, a lot, at this book. Well not at the book but with the book. As a middle-schooler I had been teeny-tiny in every way possible (height, weight, voice) so while I never got the taunts of 'Mooooo' from my classmates, I did get height jokes a plenty. And mouse jokes. I felt as if Celeste and I had a lot in common (not just the love of cookies) and that made me root for her the entire time.

I admit her attempts to wreck her chances at Miss Husky Peach (husky, who in their right mind would refer to a girl as 'husky'?) were fun and creative. I was thrilled that she didn't angst about the fact she was chubby neither before or after her Operation Skinny Celeste plan. She might not have been thrilled with being chubby, but she didn't spend most of the book whining about it and trying unhealthy methods to lose weight.

And her positive message I think won me over. Just because we're not all size zero doesn't mean we're any better or worse for it. Its how you see yourself and how you feel about yourself. Sure eating cookies instead of veggies isn't healthy, but why deny yourself a treat every so often? Learn to balance out everything and in the end you'll be a happier you.
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