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Fat Chance Paperback – August 8, 1996

4.4 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Realistic fiction for tweens
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In a starred review, PW said that this "convincing" and "true-to-life" story about an eighth-grade girl with bulimia "should be required reading for adolescent girls." Ages 12-up. (Aug.)r
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-9?Judi Beth Liebowitz appears to be a typical 13-year-old girl. She wonders what she will be when she grows up, what having a boyfriend would be like, and wishes she could lose weight. This desire to be thin, however, begins to dominate her thoughts and actions. Newman chooses a diary format to allow readers a personal look at Judi's emotions. As diary entries progress, her determination to be thin consumes her. She becomes friendly with Nancy Pratt, the most popular and skinniest girl in school, and learns that Nancy binges and purges. As Judi begins to experiment with this new way of ridding herself of food, Nancy is rushed to the emergency room and placed in intensive care. The story finishes a bit too neatly with Judi making up with her best friend, confiding in her English teacher, and confessing her problems with eating to her mother. Everyone is understanding, and she eventually meets with a counselor. Judi is a likable character with whom young teens can empathize, but Nancy is portrayed as a selfish, manipulative girl, and readers never learn her motivations. Fat Chance had the potential to be a strong story on an important topic, but it is too flawed to have its intended impact.?Melissa Yurechko, Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 970L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (August 8, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 069811406X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0698114067
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,783,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dana on February 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
Judi Lebowitz always dreamed of being thin. Since she was on the heavy side, she would do almost anything to look like the models on the covers of magazines. Judi tried every diet int he book, but none of them worked. One day in the bathroom at school she heard someone throwing up. It was her classmate and idol Nancy Pratt. Nancy let Judi in on her "dieting" secret. Judi thought that if the most popular girl in the school could throw up and lose weight, why couldn't she. As of that day Judi started to binge and purge. No one knew about it except for Nancy. In a weird way, this started their friendship. Judi hid this from her mom and from her best friend Monica. In school, Judi kept a diary for and English class assignment. In her diary she wrote down all of her feelings and thoughts on subject such as, school, boys, friends, and her body image. One day when Nancy was throwing up after lunch and Judi was guarding the doorway, Judi thought that Nancy was taking longer than usual. When Judi finally got the door open, she found Nancy on the floor passed out. After that incident, Judi swore that she would never throw up again, but she wa unable to keep that promise. The next few days, Nancy was in the hospitals recovering. Read the book to see what happends to Judi and Nancy. I think that Judi was the most interesting character because she took the readers for a journey through her mind. While you read, you feel like you know Judi like a best friend. I would definitely recommends this book. I think that people in their teens could relate to this book. I think that everyone thinkgs that they need to fix their body image, or they find some sort of flaw. I would give this book two outstanding thumbs up!
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Format: Paperback
I read this book about two years ago, a time where I was thinking about my body and if guys would be attracted to me or not. I thought I was fat and there was no way anybody could get that out of my head. Then one day I went to the library to have some time to myself, well... basically that is all i had, I needed to get out of the house. I had no friends, and felt worthless, and outcasted. I wore a long black coat to school, even on the hottest days possible. I went to the library, checked out this book, and within 2 hours I had read the thing all the way through and was reading it again. I think that if it wasn't for this book, I would never have the friends I have now, and honestly be as popular as I am at school. I never thought that it would happen to me, but I actually felt like a somebody and realized that it comes from within for people to like you. Now I'm not scared to talk to guys, in fact one of my best friends is a guy
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Format: Paperback
The book Fat Chance is about a girl Named Judi Liebowitz. She is a normal teenage girl in the 8th grade who is so worried about her body and wants to lose weight and want to become the prettiest girl in school. She has tried every diet in the book and she starts this new diet and she keeps on eating and can't stop. But then one day she goes into the bathroom and hears a person throwing up, and you won't belive who it was. It was the prettiest and most popular girl in school. Her name is Nancy Pratt. She is so skinny and pretty and Judi wants to be friends with her. Nancy told her that is how she is so skinny. Then Judi trys this and that started her new friendship with Nancy Pratt. But then one day when Judi was guarding the door she knew that something was up because Nancy was taking way to long and when she was opening the door she saw the Nancy was sprawled out on the floor and passed out. But now Judi's life is out of control and she is between life and death. You have to read the book to find out what happens. My feelings about this book is very strong. This book is so happy at the begining but them when she is talking about her weight and she is being negative toward herself. I would recommend this book to someone who is struggling with his/her weight. This book isn't just for girls. It can be for anyone who is haiving trouble with their body image. The climax for this story is when Judi finds Nancy Pratt in the bathroom throwing up. You wouldn't think that one day you would find the most popular girl in school who purges her food to lose weight.
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By QofA #11 on January 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
Fat Chance by Leslea Newman

Life in middle school is already tough enough when you are an unsatisfied American teen like the main character Judy. Although the constant comments made by Tommy Aristo, a mom who won't even let you wear makeup, and growing up being the "fat girl" in the class doesn't make it much easier. So when Mrs. Roth the English teacher assigns the class to write in a journal periodically, Judy comes up with three goals in life that will supposedly solve all her problems: One, decide what she wants to be when she grows up; Two, get a boyfriend (preferably Richard Weiss); And three, lose weight because "Everyone knows guys like skinny girls, the skinnier the better (p. 3)". So with the help of her best friend Monica, Judy decides to do what she thinks will lead to happiness and popularity by becoming skinny. However while battling the numbers on the scale, she also discovers a risky way to stay thin, even if it that means threatening her health.

Leslea Newman did an excellent job by using realistic details and even some educational facts in this contemporary fiction novel. It has the perfect amount of drama, comedy, and even a bit of romance. She makes it easy to relate to because of the real life scenarios and issues almost all teenage girls go through, without sugar coating it or being too graphic like many other dramatic books do. It is a must read if you also liked books such as Are You There God, It's Me Margaret or Just As Long As We're Together by Judy Bloom. Newman and Bloom have a very similar writing style, however Newman usually provides a bit more detail and is more dramatic in her description. This book may take awhile to get into, but once hooked on Judy's personality and exciting turn of events, it is impossible to put down.
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