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Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies Paperback – February 5, 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 161 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

When Celeste’s meddling aunt enters her in the Miss Husky Peach Pageant for “larger sized girls,” the eighth-grader quails at the thought of the teasing that’s sure to follow, though the idea of modeling has its appeal. Reasoning that if she loses enough weight, she’ll be ineligible for the contest, Celeste finds the motivation to skip snacks and even to exercise. Along the way, she begins to express her individuality through the unlikely vehicle of a beauty contest. Successes, flops, humiliations, and recoveries are all part of the pageant process, and even girls who don’t see themselves as potential models will enjoy Celeste’s account of her experiences. The wry first-person narrative also provides convincing views of middle-school friendships, family dynamics, and incremental personal growth. The ending may be a bit too rosy for absolute realism, but readers rooting for Celeste won’t complain. A light, well-paced first novel. Grades 6-8. --Carolyn Phelan

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"The wry first-person narrative . . . provides convincing views of middle school friendships, family dynamics, and incremental personal growth . . . A light, well-paced first novel." - "Booklist"
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 690L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Dial Books (February 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803732961
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803732964
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #364,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I am currently a fifth grade teacher and picked this book up because it seemed an interesting conversation piece for my girls, many of whom have serious issues with body image already. I was not at all pleased after reading it. Throughout the piece, the character Celeste is never empowered by her own wants, dreams and aspirations; instead, she is ignored and caves in to the taunting of her classmates, the wants of her family and the opinions of everyone else. Furthermore, characters like Lively are caricatures; they are way too wicked to be believable, for even the nastiest of bullies should have the slightest complexity in them that make readers sympathize with their behavior, even if they deem it wrong. Lively's behavior is flat out evil - no underlying insecurities, no problems at home to make her overcompensate with cruelty to others - she's just a creep who is inexplicably popular, and there is no other explanation for it. This just makes the characters seem stupid for listening to a single, solitary word she says, and her power as a bully weak and confusing. Bottom line - this book leaves the readers with several unsettling underlying messages. Fat is bad and something to conceal, change, or be ashamed of. If you are fat, you probably adhere to overweight stereotypes - you sit around eating too much, you hate sports and you dream of being thin enough for boys to like. I mean, forget about the fact that some overweight girls ARE athletic, have self confidence, and perhaps got that way for a medical reason - that couldn't be true. Meanwhile, thin/pretty/model material is good and something to be proud of. Once Celeste started losing weight, THAT'S when she started "finding" herself. Bullies may be mean, but they win, because their taunts have power over us.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book. Maybe it's because I have a soft spot for overweight young girls being as that was me in middle school and high school. I thought Dionne handled the weight issue very well showing that while eating healthy and exercising can help you lose weight what is really important is how you feel about yourself. Celeste was a loveable character who you have to feel sorry for as she is picked on by by the "popular" kids and abandoned by her best friend. This story was a nice mix of humor, discovering what is really important in friendships and most of all being confident in yourself no matter how you feel you may look.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Celeste is an overweight teen-ager whose life just got much more difficult. Her best friend dumps her for more popular friends and her aunt enters her in a chubby girl modeling contest. Through these dramas, though, Celeste finds out what's really important in a friend and in herself.

When I first started reading this book, I had some really uncomfortable feelings about the accuracy and realism of certain elements in the book. First, of all, the main character is, by her own accounts, overweight, yet she grabs unhealthy foods by the handful and doesn't seem to see the connection. As a former teacher, this type of thinking isn't realistic as students are now taught from a very early age which foods are bad for them. The fact she only seems to realize it later in the book seemed off to me. Also, I find it impossible to believe that a company specializing in overweight models would call their company and contest "HuskyPeach". That name just rubbed me wrong the whole time. It's so politically incorrect and such a company would be lambasted for their bad judgment. Lastly, the instances of bullying in the book are hard to read but seem so unrealistic when some of that verbal bullying took place right in front of teachers who said nothing. Again, as a former teacher, maybe I was being too critical, but there's no way such abuse would be tolerated.

Overall, it was an okay book. Once I got over my initial misgivings (and ignored the others), I found the book to be cute with some good messages. It was a bit over the top of drama for me, but I know many of my ex-students who would gobble it right up for just that reason.
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Format: Paperback
I'm a teacher and a middle-aged man, probably not the target audience of the book.... But I need more "girl books" for my classes and this has been an excellent choice in most ways.

The character of Celeste is real, and I mean really real. I've taught a few Celestes, at least the way she is in the beginning of the story: thoroughly ashamed of her body, unable to believe she could do anything about it (whether she could or not), allowing many of her peers to disrespect her, spending a lot of energy every day just trying to avoid being confronted too directly with her own shame. And in reality, she would probably be ok if she could just get a little genuine confidence, a sense of her own worth as a person, a bit more awareness of her power.

SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS!

The story goes better for this Celeste than it does for many young women. She learns how to put on makeup skillfully, she makes better decisions about her diet and lifestyle. And then she's surrounded by people telling her she's beautiful.

The important point - hopefully all the teen readers will notice! (though I sadly see that not all the adults did) - is that not so much actually changes on the outside. She loses nine pounds. Nine pounds is not nothing and on most figures it would make a difference, but she didn't actually become thin. She starts wearing lip gloss. Nine pounds and lip gloss. Those things must help of course, but The Real Change in true bildungsroman style is that she gains strength and confidence and insight, especially into herself. She starts standing up for herself, she dumps a fake friend for some genuine ones.
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