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Does This Book Make Me Look Fat?: Stories About Loving -- and Loathing -- Your Body Hardcover – December 29, 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up—This is a well-intentioned book of essays and short stories by a diverse group of young adult authors including Barry Lyga and Ellen Hopkins. The selections are pretty evenly divided between fiction and personal essay; however, all touch on the concept of body image (defined here in terms of weight). Two stories, by Sarra Manning and Coe Booth, distinguish themselves by not addressing body image in these terms, focusing instead on breast and butt size, respectively. Although three of the selections feature male subjects, it is clear that the collection anticipates a female readership. While Daniel Pinkwater's and Lyga's contributions are what seem to be personal essays about the authors' own thoughts on weight, Matt de la Peña's short story is told from the perspective of an older brother dealing with his sister's anorexia. The collection concludes with a list of recommended reading and viewing, a list of songs entitled "Big Girls Don't Cry," and an unannotated list of Web sites, some of which promote healthy body images for teens, others of which are commercial sites featuring plus-size clothing. From the selections to the recommendations, it is clear that this book is attempting to advance self-acceptance; however, the limited breadth of the stories, and the dubious commercial/public service nature of the webliography result in a mixed message.—Amy S. Pattee, Simmons College, Boston
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

This star-studded collection tackles a popular topic—body image—with humor, sensitivity, and creativity. An entertaining essay (unfortunately placed given the intended audience) by Daniel Pinkwater on what it’s like to be a fat, middle-aged man starts the collection. This rocky start will quickly be forgiven with Megan McCafferty’s story narrated by a pair of skinny jeans. Other highlights are Matt de la Peña’s wrenching story of a young man coming to terms with his sister’s devastating eating disorder, and Sarra Manning’s feisty protagonist, who helps a co-worker find her own style and later faces her own body issues. The focus on living in one’s body as a teenager or young woman extends the appeal for women college aged and older. An appendix lists body-positive Web sites, books, and music. While only two entries overtly feature minority characters, the variety of body issues is diverse enough that anyone can relate: too short, too fat, too busty, too flat, eating too much, eating too little. All convey the importance of loving one’s self, regardless of one’s shape. Grades 7-12. --Heather Booth

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books (December 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547014961
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547014968
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,253,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A pretty uneven collection of short stories. Might be worth it for a young teenager (high school or middle school) to check out.

Pros: Some of these stories were really great. I don't have the book in front of me, but the one from Ellen Hopkins and the woman who wrote "The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things" was pretty great. The first story gives one of the few male perspectives and is hilarious. Most of these stories attempt to create pretty healthy attitudes toward self-acceptance.

Cons: A few of them use too many cliched or trite representations of attitudes towards body issues. I didn't like the stories that made caricatures of the "popular or pretty" people without showing them any empathy. In addition, some of the conclusions were a bit too pat, like the story of how a young adult male realizes he "gave his sister an eating disorder with one comment" (not how it works).
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Format: Hardcover
With fourteen stories and personal essays written by popular authors such as Sara Zarr, Carolyn Mackler, Ellen Hopkins, and more, this book is quite amazing. The stories all focus on the weight and body image issues that most everyone has at one point in their life.

Whether it's feeling overweight or thinking you're too skinny, how you feel that your breasts are either way too small or way too big, everyone has issues with their bodies.

Not much else I can really say about this book. I actually loved each and every one of the stories, and that really surprised me. I thought at least one or two of them I probably wouldn't end up liking.

I'd recommend DOES THIS BOOK MAKE ME LOOK FAT? to anyone who has issues with their body and even to people who don't. Every single story is just written so well. I didn't want to finish the last one when I got to it.

The only thing wrong with this book: it should have been longer!

Reviewed by: Breanna F.
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Format: Hardcover
The title is amazing, and the essays and stories inside don't disappoint either. Very well written, honest and relevent. I enjoyed the variety of topics covered, there is definitely something for everyone to relate to.

Kate Whitfield, author of The Empowered Gal's 9 Life Lessons: Keys, Tips, Strategies, Advice & Everything You Need to Know to be a Confident, Successful, in Control Gal
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