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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ex-library book. The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting.
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45 Pounds (More or Less) Hardcover – July 11, 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8-10-Sixteen-year-old Ann has a big problem. She has just two months to get into a bridesmaid dress for her Aunt Jackie's wedding. She needs to lose 45 pounds, which would be hard enough without the complications of a new job, a cute boy, a mean group of girls, and blended families that leave her caught in the middle-and left out. Her mother is obsessive about her own weight and as the summer wears on, Ann begins to see just how troubled her families are. Telling the story in Ann's wry, realistic voice, this debut author effectively captures society's preoccupation with size and the resulting alienation of an overweight teen. With a chain-smoking grandmother whose language is peppered with "fat-ass," relatives and friends who are slyly disparaging about her weight, and a mother who constantly prods her about dieting, the message could be heavy-handed. But Barson lightens the tone with almost cinematic humor, ensuring that even the most painful scenes have a slapstick edge. The ticking clock behind the wedding deadline gives the story real momentum, and while the ending is all nuptial jubilation, it is also a realistic summer's end for Ann.-Martha Baden, Prescott Public Library, AZα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Sixteen-year-old Ann has dieted plenty of times before, but her aunt’s wedding—looming just eight weeks away—compels her to secretly shell out for the Secrets 2 Success weight-loss system, which delivers icky frozen dinners right to her home. Barson’s lighthearted debut mixes pratfalls with serious emotional issues. Mostly it focuses on Ann’s struggles to escape the unhealthy relationship to food she has learned from her mother, figure out who her real friends are, and curtail her self-sabotage and let loose with life. Hey, maybe she will even score a date with Dimple Guy. (Though puking on his shoes—classic!—doesn’t help much.) Nothing you haven’t read before, but thoroughly warmhearted and easy to like. Grades 7-10. --Daniel Kraus
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 570 (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (July 11, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670784826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670784820
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #932,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Weight issues in YA are generally really poorly handled. In fact, I can only think of a couple of heroines who aren't very skinny. Considering what a big issue weight is in American society, it's rather startling how few books there are that take that perspective and deal with it in an open, feeling, non-shaming way, and the only book I can think of aside from 45 Pounds is The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, which isn't remotely our society. Though I know there are some others I haven't read, 45 Pounds is still a much-needed book that takes a heartbreaking look at insecurities, where they come from, and what to do about them.

K. A. Barson's debut novel has incredibly strong characterization. From page one, Ann's personality shines through. She's rather funny and intelligent, but, more than anything, she's a mound of insecurities and self-hatred. If, like me, you hated pretty much everything about yourself at some point in your life, you will feel for Ann; I ached and part of me was right back in that place. If you never went through that, I suspect it will be really hard to really comprehend how Ann could think that way about herself. From my own experiences, Ann's thought patterns are wholly accurate. They are also frustrating. She makes so many bad choices, but not for the sake of the plot, the sort of well meaning bad choices that are a part of growing up.

Ann really does have a problem with food, and Barson shows this very well. The root of Ann's dietary issues stem from her family. Any stressful situation sends her to the food, a response programmed into her from childhood, one she can't quit, though she wants to. Unhappy with the way she looks, Ann tries fad diet after fad diet, losing a few pounds and then falling off the wagon.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I unexpectedly received this book in the mail a few days ago from Penguin Teen and was curious about it, so immediately picked it up. This is my favorite kind of book-- I go in with no expectations, and come out, moved.

45 Pounds by K.A. Barson is about every girl Ann, who is overweight, wears a size 17, and is incredibly embarrassed about it. She has a stick thin perfect mother who has apparently never worried about weight her entire life, and has difficulty making new friends. She's struggled through many different diets, but this one is different-- her aunt has a wedding coming up, and Ann is determined to fit into a cute bridesmaid dress. This all seems very stereotypical to teen literature, but this book takes a generic idea and makes it new.

I admit that the first 100 pages were very painful for me to read on so many different levels. Ann is the perfect teen protagonist-- very insecure with many flaws, but with so much room to grow. She's like any of us were when we were at the awkward teenager stage where all we wanted to do was belong. I'll be honest-- I almost wanted to put it down because reliving those years was not my idea of relaxation. But then midway, something changes. Ann realizes that her sphere is larger than just around herself and that everyone has their own history, their own insecurities, their own fears. Barson introduces some really wonderful supporting characters-- Raynee, Ann's new friend, was probably my favorite of them all, and they take this book to a new level. The writing is crisp and the pacing makes absolute sense.

The resolution of this book is perfect-- and it brought tears to my eyes. In contemporary YA, the characters are the center of stories, and this book is chock full of it.

Overall, a book bursting through the seams with heart, courage, and depth that I was not expecting. A must read.
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Format: Hardcover
I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this book but I knew that I wanted to read it. I found myself really touched by Ann's struggles with both weight loss and other people's perceptions of her based on her size. The book also looked at friendships and family relationships which I really appreciated.

I found Ann to be easy to relate to as a character. There were definitely some moments where I really felt for her and could remember what it was like when I was a teen and people made comments about my weight or eating habits (I wasn't overweight but my relatives made comments anyway) or like Ann, I had those emotional fitting room scenes where clothes were too tight. I liked Ann's spunk and determination and I enjoyed watching her grow and discover more about herself and her family. It was great to see Ann decide to quit trying to fit her mom's ideal and work on being herself instead. Along the way she even makes a great friend in Rainee and finds a sweet love interest who likes her the way she is.

Overall I thought this book had a great message and great characters. The mom isn't portrayed as some villain. She genuinely cares for Ann but she doesn't have the healthiest attitude towards her body and she has passed that on to her daughters. She has her own issues to work on and while the end of the book doesn't wrap everything up with a bow, it does show that Ann and her mom are making progress in their relationship with each other and with food. There is also progress in mending broken family relationships. What I liked best is that the emphasis of the story is not on weight loss but on being healthy and being yourself rather than trying to fit someone else's concept of who you should be.
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