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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it is still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Fat Kid Rules the World Paperback – November 1, 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up-The opening lines of this first-person narrative immediately hook readers as they enter the lonely, troubled, self-deprecating world of Troy Billings, a 296-pound 17-year-old who contemplates ending his life by jumping off a New York City subway platform. He is interrupted by Curt MacCrae, a legendary punk-rock guitarist and sometime-student at W. T. Watson High School. When Curt connects with him and "saves his life," Troy is amazed that someone, especially someone as cool as Curt, wants to befriend him. An unlikely, almost symbiotic relationship develops between these two. Curt convinces Troy to be the drummer in his band, even though he hasn't touched the drums since seventh grade. He is flattered by the suggestion and believes that being in the band could be his key to acceptance. Troy's voice is candid, irreverent, realistic, and humorous. He imagines the events of his life in facetious headlines always related to his weight. Curt himself is the product of a dysfunctional family, and he has plenty of problems of his own, including a reliance on drugs. Going has created three-dimensional characters whose behavior rings true. There are many unexpected twists and turns, including the horrifying and hysterically gross depiction of Troy's first gig. Fans of Joyce Carol Oates's Big Mouth & Ugly Girl (HarperCollins, 2002) will love this wonderful, engrossing tale.
Starred Review
Renee Steinberg, Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 8-12. His name is Troy, but to the world--and in his internal dialogues--he is the Fat Kid. Really Fat. Almost 300 pounds of sweating, unhappy insecurity. Then out of a moment of despair comes magic. As Troy considers whether to splatter himself on a subway track, Curt MacCrae, a charismatic punk rocker/homeless kid/dropout, comes along and stops him. For the price of a meal, Curt befriends Troy, and he sees something under all those layers: a potential musician, a friend, and someone with the ability to see through life's bull. First-time novelist Going has put together an amazing assortment of characters. Troy is the ultimate fat kid, the kind whose every move, every thought is predicated on what it is like to wear a coat of blubber. Curt, as thin as Troy is fat, is a combination of Kurt Cobain, Ratso Rizzo, and a fairy godfather. He sprinkles Troy with the dirt and grime of punk rock and brings out the prince hiding inside the weight (to the book's credit, Troy doesn't get any thinner). Equally well drawn are the lesser characters, including Troy's father, a former Marine with an innate sense of what kids need. The narrative could have been tighter in places, but this is an impressive debut that offers hope for all kids--dross transmuted into gold. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 0700 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Speak; Reprint edition (November 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142402087
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142402085
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"I'm ready to give him full credit and be on my way, mosey along to contemplate some new nonfunny form of suicide (FAT KID GETS HIT BY A BUS?), but the blond ferret stands up and extends a grimy hand.
"Curt MacCrae," he says. That's when I just about piss my pants.
Curt MacCrae is a legend at W.T. Watson High School. He's the only truly homeless, sometimes student, sometimes dropout, punk rock, artist god among us."
K.L. Going's Fat Kid Rules the World is an engaging, page-turning read from a new author on the Young Adult scene. Troy Billings (a.k.a. the Fat Kid) is 6' 1", weighs 300 pounds, and spends most of his waking hours trying to determine how to end what he sees as his useless life. The novel begins with Troy contemplating sucide in a Manhattan subway station, only to be interrupted by Curt MacCrae and presented with Curt's vision for Troy's future: "Big T" will become the drummer in Curt's punk rock band, Rage/Tectonic. The catch? Troy can't play the drums to save his life, but, to Curt, that's no big deal.
Over the course of 183 pages (Hardcover Edition), Going takes a deep look at the impact of life, death, obesity, family dysfunction, drug abuse, and the love of music on two high school seniors. The narrative moves along quickly, with some chapters as short as two or three paragraphs. Going's characters are multi-dimensional -- both flawed and passionate -- lending a strong, realistic tone to the story. The interactions between Troy; Curt; Troy's younger brother, Dayle; Troy's father (an ex-Marine now working as a security consultant); and Curt's mother and stepfather are eerily true to life for many young adults who have lost parents or come from broken homes.
Fat Kid is definitely a Young Adult novel, suited for readers aged 15 and above.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"I'm a sweating fat kid standing on the edge of the subway platform staring at the tracks. I'm seventeen years old, weigh 296 pounds, and I'm six foot one. I have a crew cut, yes a crew cut, sallow skin, and the kind of mouth that puckers when I breathe. I'm wearing a shirt that reads MIAMI BEACH--SPRING BREAK 1997, and huge, bland tan pants--the only kind of pants I own. Eight pairs, all tan."
As this head-bashing-yet-really-sweet-tale hits its first screeching chord progression, seventeen year-old Troy Billings contemplates jumping in front of an approaching subway train. A once average-sized child, he has eaten his way through years of depression after the death of his mother. Raised by his father, who is a retired military officer, and having experienced unrelenting contempt from a younger brother, who is a popular jock, Troy is certain that everyone is constantly eyeing him and laughing.
"First, the train is coming, its single headlight illuminating the dark tracks. I hear its deep rumble and take the fateful step forward. I want to picture myself flying dramatically through the air but realize I wouldn't have the muscle power to launch my body. Instead, I would plummet straight down. Maybe I wouldn't even get my other leg off the platform--my weight would pull me down like an anchor. That's how I see it."
But Troy does not jump. Or plummet. His plans are rudely interrupted by the "disembodied voice" of a skinny teenager--Curt MacCrae--who is sitting in the dark behind him.
"He looks like a blond ferret. Stringy unwashed hair and huge eyes, jeans that are barely recognizable, stained white T-shirt, huge red overshirt, ratty old sweater...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I started reading this book this morning, and had to finish it before going to bed. What a great story, and told in a way that doesn't drown you in details. KL Going does a wonderful job of leading you through the story while leaving enough room for you to fill in the blanks.

As an adult who struggles with weight, I could certainly identify with Big T's insecurities. It is so easy to get wrapped up in feeling like everyone else is perfect while you miss the mark. Curt's frazzled ability to cut through the hypocracy and show T that everyone is flawed is a fantastic bonus in this book.

I believe parents who are not comfortable with their children being familiar with the struggles of young people suffering from addiction, minors in possession of drugs and alcohol, or foul language should read this book with their child. The issues that the characters face are not far fetched, and this story is a great way to start a conversation with young people about skipping school, drug abuse, sex & managing hormones, and how to handle difficult situations.

Great story, only giving 4 stars because I wish the book had another 60,000 words to read.
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Format: Paperback
Troy knows that everyone is watching him. And laughing at him. Of course they are. At seventeen years old and almost 300 pounds, wearing what appears to be the same pair of tan pants daily, every move he makes is laughable. Will he be able to get out of the car? How many burgers will he eat? Even his effort to breathe is laughable as he huffs and puffs his way along.

He worries that he smells. You don't understand. It's not that he's a pig or anything, he just has a hard time fitting in the shower.

Poised over the subway tracks, Troy contemplates whether he can find a form of suicide that will be so serious, so severe, that no one will laugh. Enter Curt. Semi-homeless teen, school dropout, legend at his high school, and uber amazing guitar player, Curt attaches himself to Troy after saving him from the tracks. He's an itch that can't be scratched, a tick burrowing under the skin. Before Troy realizes it, he's agreed to buy Curt dinner and join his band as a drummer, even though he hasn't played since seventh grade.

Who is he kidding? He can't do this. He sees it in the eyes of his perfect kid brother, Dayle, as well as his military dad, the "disappointed dysfunctional parent."

But with Curt's help, Troy learns to look past himself. He finds support in unexpected places. But it's not until Curt is hospitalized that Troy finally has the guts to really take a risk.

This is a fast-paced book. K. L. Going immerses the reader in the world of punk rock through the eyes of the fat kid who yearns to have people really look at him. She has a great sense of humor that shines with lines of comparison, like when Troy compares himself to Dayle before the big gig.
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