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Not Fat Because I Wanna Be Paperback – March 2, 2011

24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


It is the wonderful tale of a 6-year old girl who is refusing to let bullies control her life. It is a must-read for any classroom. What a brave, young girl!

Props to little LaNiyah and especially her parents who took a positive and proactive stand to support their daughter to write a book no less. Go LaNiyah!!!

I can identify with LaNiyah's story so, so much. And I hope her book helps to inspire other kids who are experiencing this particular pain, and lets other kids know that bullying is NEVER OK!

Hopefully her book can provide insight and comfort to kids who aren't so lucky.

Well done LaNiyah!! --afro-e­­m

From the Author

This book is dedicated to kids like me that have been bullied or teased because they look different.
Thank you to my mommy (LaToya M. White) my daddy (Songo K. Bailey), my family, friends, and all the people who will read my book.
"Always remember that you are beautiful no matter what someone tells you, we're all different in our own special way."


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 42 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1461006767
  • ISBN-13: 978-1461006763
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,449,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

7 year old, Author/youth advocate LaNiyah Bailey was ONLY six years old, when she was introduced to the world by way of NPR Radio it was after she and her parents appeared on Michel Martin's show "Tell Me More." Broadcast in over 500 cities; it lead a world-wide discussion in support of President Barack Obama's anti-bullying initiative and the epidemic of Bulling in America, March 15, 2011. Shortly thereafter, her phone began ringing off the hook. Major media outlets such as CNN, FOX, NBC, BET, WGN, AOL, ABC, Huffington's Post and many others throughout the world; including London and Korea. They wanted to know more about this young girl's "inspiring courage" after she penned the highly-acclaimed children's book "Not Fat Because I Wanna Be" along with her mother LaToya "Toyiah Marquis" White and illustrator Laura Pérez Ricaud.

The book detailed the story of fictional character Jessica. Jessica was bullied because of her weight which was caused by an underlying medical condition, which caused her to gain weight even though she was very, healthy and active. At such a young age Jessica had to endure some painful and unhappy times. Finally Jessica decided to stand up for herself.

The story was based on LaNiyah's very own true to life instances of being bullied and teased because of her weight. Since the books release in March 2011, LaNiyah has been featured in magazines, interviewed on 100's of radio shows, blogs and TV shows. The book has garnered "5-star reviews" across the board and is currently in lesson plans at schools throughout the United States and Korea.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. M. Lawrence on October 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
Young author LaNiyah Bailey writes a very moving story. In a courageous manner she addresses the issues of bullying and childhood obesity. She is an overweight child and both kids and adults at her school tease her about her weight. She learns the hard way that the saying "Sticks and Stones..." is not true.

LaNiyah is afflicted with a medical condition that causes her weight to be elevated. She eats healthy foods and despite this she is bloated. She sees a doctor who does tests and xrays. He is able to help her. As she explains this to the other children, they slowly begin to accept her for who she is, not what she looks like. An important lesson for all of us.

LaNiyah is a beautiful and courageous child. To utilize her pain and suffering and create such a wonderful educational tool is an act to be commended.

LaNiyah writes a pledge at the end of the book, I think it is important enough to copy here:
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Wayne S. Walker on August 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
Jessica is a young girl who is what the kids call "different." Can you guess why? One day, she is watching television with her mom. They see the President's wife, Michelle Obama, who says that if kids eat healthy they won't get obese. That makes Jessica sad because she eats healthy food but she's still overweight. She has a medical condition which is causing her problem. At preschool, the other kids tease her about being fat. Even some of her teachers poke fun. One said, "Guess you have French fries every night for dinner." Her mom and dad try to encourage her by reminding her that everyone is special and that she needs to value what's on the inside of her while ignoring what she can't change on the outside. Will Jessica learn how to handle the taunting and bullying? Will the other kids ever change their attitudes towards her? And will that new doctor be able to do anything to help?
Author LaNiyah Bailey is a six-year-old Kindergarten student who, due to various medical problems, has had to deal with being made fun of because she's "different" and doesn't look "normal," just like the fictional Jessica. However, with the love and support of her family, she has overcome many obstacles and wants to share her story to let the world know that words can hurt and that people should look beyond what shows on the outside to see the true worth of those who may look different. This is a wonderful accomplishment for LaNiyah and a great reminder to both kids and adults not to judge others based on how they look. LaNiyah's pledge is, "I am beautiful. I am loved. I will not let what others say define me. Bullying is not cool!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl C. Malandrinos VINE VOICE on August 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
Six-year-old LaNiyah is tired of being picked on by her classmates just because she's different. Even though she eats a healthy diet, she's still a big girl. She doesn't know why until her new doctor runs some tests. With the love and support of her family, LaNiyah is able to share her story with her classmates, so they understand the "inside her."

Not Fat Because I Wanna Be is a truly inspiring story that captures the importance of family love and support in tackling the issue of bullying and helping bullied kids to feel good about themselves. Six-year-old Bailey tells her story in the first person, which helps the reader connect with her and feel the emotions she feels as the book moves along. Your heart aches when you read the names she is called; just as much as it leaps for joy when her new doctor helps her understand what is going on with her body. You cheer for her when she courageously answers a mean classmate who asks why she is so fat. And you can't help but smile when the same girl becomes her best friend.

The artwork is provided by Laura Perez Ricaud. She did a superb job in telling LaNiyah's story in a visual way. From the cover to the very last page, her illustrations will captivate young readers and encourage questions and discussion points.

Not Fat Because I Wanna Be by LaNiyah Bailey needs to be in all our elementary schools and shared often. This book can help parents and educators open the door for discussions on tolerance and diversity. I highly recommend Not Fat Because I Wanna Be!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By GOOD READS on October 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
A small child tackles a problem head on and serves as a role model for all children facing bullying, problems, or experiencing being different in any way. In this charming and sometimes touching first-person book, the author shares the secret world of a child suffering from a medical condition and from peer taunting. It is her world and her reality so it comes across with a rare voice.

It is a book rich in faith, family values, and a loving family rallying around a treasured member. The lessons shared by her parents serve to strengthen not only the child but also the parents.

It is also a blunt and open must read for children pre-school to fifth who face medical conditions, being differently challenged, or other issues. It is also a good introduction for all children and parents about the issues and impact of bullying. Real life and unmentionable conditions associated with some conditions (constipation, fear of tests, doctors, etc. illustrate that some things are just hard for anyone to talk about or deal with in a normal manner let alone while being taunted.

Perfect for schools, libraries, day cares, parenting collections, and doctors offices. Should be read by every teacher and child care provider to help them understand the diversity of conditions children face.
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