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Fat Kid Rules the World Paperback – November 1, 2004
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From School Library Journal
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.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
"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.Read more ›
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...Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
15-year-old Troy Billings is an overweight and suicidal teenager. With no mother, a strict father, and a ‘perfect’ brother, he feels alone and not being able to turn to anyone for... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Akemi Fujimoto
The story kicks off with Troy contemplating suicide on a subway platform. This leads to Troy meeting Curt MacCrae, a drug addict, rock-god, teenager who is homeless. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Central ISD Libraries
This here is a good book It has characters and plot and twists it's a good piece of literature BagelsPublished 20 months ago by Elizabeth Rouleau
My interest was piqued by the title about a very overweight teenager (whew, 296 lbs.?!) Here he is about to take his life because of his depression over his serious weight and... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Banshee
Troy Billings is over three hundred pounds and his weight dominates everything that he does and thinks about. Read morePublished on November 11, 2013 by The Compulsive Reader
I really enjoyed this touching story about two opposites on the scale. The flaws and dysfunctional problems they both have make them more real, candid and relatable. Read morePublished on November 7, 2013 by Ruchis79