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Dumplin' Hardcover – September 15, 2015
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From the Publisher
Julie Murphy on Swimsuits
Spoiler alert: every body is a beach body! Are you wasting away in the heat this summer? Are you tired of covering and taking shelter in dark, air-conditioned coffee shops? Well, slather on that SPF and pack that beach bag full of books, because we’re sharing our tips for attaining The Perfect Beach Body!
Who can go to the beach?
5.Individuals Fluent in Latin
6.Anybody with a Body
Find the perfect swimsuit for your body shape!
1.Find a store that suits your style and carries swimwear in your size.
2.Choose patterns, fabrics, and styles that make you happy.
3.Try on your selected swimsuits.
4.Choose the swimsuit that makes you feel good about your body.
5.Congratulations you have found the perfect swimsuit for your body shape!
How to achieve the perfect beach body!
1.Put on your swimsuit. The more fabulous it makes you feel, the better!
2.Add your favorite pair of shades to the mix. You can’t go wrong with red heart-shaped sunglasses!
4.Take a good look at yourself in the mirror and do ten *book shimmy* reps.
5.Pat yourself on the back! Your body is the perfect beach body!
No matter your shape or size, remember that you deserve to enjoy your summer as much as anyone else. Don’t waste time holding yourself back from a beautiful day at the beach or the pool. And remember: every body is a beach body!
From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Sixteen-year-old Dolly Parton-loving Willowdean doesn't usually struggle with her identity and self-confidence as a fat girl in a her small Texas town, where her mother leads the local pageant scene, until hot former jock Bo kisses her. In this novel, Murphy takes her time letting Willowdean explore her feelings about a variety of situations relating to friendship, jealousy, sexual attraction, drag queens, her obese aunt's death, her relationship with her mother, and her own self-worth. Murphy celebrates small-town Texas with her strong sense of community and culture, in part by creating very realistic and deep characters to populate Willowdean's world, having them frequent places like truckbeds and fast-food joints, and giving them pure Texan dialogue: "Oh God, roll down the mother flippin' windows!" Unlike the similarly smart, funny, and large heroines of Robin Brande's Fat Cat (Knopf, 2009) or Suzanne Supplee's Artichoke's Heart (Dutton, 2008), Willowdean doesn't have to lose the weight to get the boy and her confidence, but instead remains a strong and realistic overweight girl to whom many readers will aspire: "I'm not doing this to be some kind of Joan of Fat Girls, or whatever. I'm doing this…for me." VERDICT A joyous read that will be beloved by many teens who can relate to feeling uncertain in their own skins.—Rhona Campbell, Georgetown Day School, Washington, DC
“Will’s singular voice compels readers to think about all that goes into building-and destroying-self-esteem...Splendid” (Booklist (starred review))
“I’m obsessed with this book. Wickedly funny, heartbreakingly real, full of characters to love and cheer for. DUMPLIN’ is such a star.” (Katie Cotugno, author of How to Love and 99 Days)
“DUMPLIN’ should be required reading for anyone who has ever felt even slightly uncomfortable in his or her skin. Julie Murphy’s star continues to shine with this groundbreaking, poignant story that will surely change lives.” (John Corey Whaley, award-winning author of Noggin and Where Things Come Back)
“Murphy…successfully makes every piece of the story…count, weaving them together to create a harmonious, humorous, and thought-provoking whole.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“[A] richly enjoyable novel...a clever and funny book to please lovers of thoughtful romance and secret pageant fans.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)
“Genuine, romantic, and with a dash of Texan charm, this is a novel that celebrates being who you are while also acknowledging that it’s incredibly difficult to do.” (The Horn Book)
“Portrays and challenges sterotypes about beauty pageants, size issues, and women’s concerns...Powerful.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))
Praise for SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY: “Honest and unflinching, this is a compelling story of one teen’s struggle with cancer, love, and living. A worthwhile addition.” (School Library Journal)
Praise for SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY: “Readers will turn the last page wanting to know where the next chapter leads.” (Kirkus Reviews)
Praise for SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY: “Alice and Harvey’s relationship is raw, honest, moving, and unapologetic in its depiction of their individual, and collective, pain.” (Booklist)
Praise for SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY: “Julie Murphy weaves together a tender and funny tale of love, friendship, heartache, and redemption. SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY explodes with brutal honesty, brilliant wit, and unflinching heart.” (John Corey Whaley, winner of the Michael L. Printz Award for WHERE THINGS COME BACK)
Praise for SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY: “Julie Murphy’s SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY is a funny, heartfelt, honest look at the beauty and the risk of getting a second chance. An inspiring novel about all the things worth living for. I adored this debut!” (Siobhan Vivian, author of The List)
Praise for SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY: “A funny and touching novel about a strong-willed heroine who finds facing death simple, but facing life heart-wrenchingly complicated. A real original.” (Jennifer Echols, author of GOING TOO FAR)
Praise for SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY: “A tale of unlikely romance, impossible obstacles, and mortality, this book is a must-read.”- (Teen Vogue)
Praise for SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY: “It’s equal parts fun, cringe-worthy, and totally fearless!” (Seventeen Magazine)
Praise for SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY: “An unexpected twist on the typical cancer story.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))
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Top Customer Reviews
The first thing that struck me as a reader was Murphy’s characterization; so often, when we’re reading books about underdogs, they are portrayed to be perfect human beings when it comes to personality. Not here. Willowdean is flawed in the way that she forms first judgments about other people- judgments that are often harsh. She can be cruel inside her own mind towards other people, but isn’t everyone, to some extent? Her development as a character becomes apparent as the book progresses- as she grows up, she learns to not only accept herself but others around her. Perhaps the one piece of critique this book gets the most is Willowdean’s judgments, but to me, that’s what makes her and the book so three-dimensional.
The novel is multi-faceted, in the way that it doesn’t focus on one thing over another, giving the reader a perfectly rounded picture of Willowdean’s life. We see her friendships, her relationship with her deceased aunt and her mother, her boy problems, her work. All of these things work seamlessly together to construct a solid storyline.
However, some of the secondary characters felt flat. There were so many of them that they can be hard to keep track of. Their personalities blend together after a little, and had the book been longer, perhaps the book would deliver more of a punch with all the different characters. The strange little love triangle was another thing I wasn’t big on- I didn’t think the book needed it, and if I consider the situation objectively, I don’t particularly think the situation was handled in the best way.
But all in all, Dumplin’ is a solid contemporary that deals with an important issue with sass and poise, simultaneously. The ending is spectacularly handled: ambiguous but leaves the reader content. It’s a three-dimensional, fast-paced reader, good for even those people who don’t usually reach for contemporaries.
Like I said I see myself in Willowdean. Back in highschool and really still today, who am I kidding, I was the chubby girl. No matter how much I dieted or exercised I wouldn't drop under a certain weight and I still won't. That's just how my body is built and I've come to terms with it. The same as Willowdean. She accepts herself for who she is and doesn't put herself down, a whole lot, for it. She only becomes insecure when she is with someone else who she doesn't see herself worthy of, even though he doesn't care what others will think. He only wants Willowdean.
I think this is important for younger readers. I wish I had a book like this when I was younger so I could focus more on myself and not so much on what others thought.
This book also helped me to appreciate my own mother more. She never once has mentioned my weight or asked me to go on diets. She has never put me down, only encouraged me to be the best I can be. I can also see what the flip side is with Willowdean and her own mother. I do not want to do what she does to my own children.
I found myself a Bo, track and cross country legend. Complete with 12 pack and floppy hair. I am no where near in his league according to social standards but I ended up marrying him. So dreams can come true.