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THE BIG REVEAL by Jen Larsen


by Jen Larsen

Pub Date: Dec. 7th, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-250-25217-3
Publisher: Henry Holt

A White high school dancer, unable to afford a prestigious summer opportunity taught by an amazing, fat dance director, discovers burlesque.

Eighteen-year-old Addie loves her friends and lives for dance. In the performing arts track at the Michigan boarding school where she’s one of the few scholarship kids, Addie’s flourished far from her thinness-obsessed mother in Florida. She wins a spot in a competitive program for aspiring dancers in Milan, with a director who’s “dramatically, unapologetically fat, and perfect.” But Addie doesn’t win the program’s scholarship, and how is she going to get $6,000? Her BFFs (a Black lesbian Instagram influencer; a queer Korean American boy who embraces gender as a spectrum; and a joyful White girl) convince Addie to let them help raise the money by dancing. Sexy dancing, of course. But in their sex-negative, misogynist high school, this fundraiser’s going to have to be secret. Though bigotry against fat people batters against Addie’s self-confidence (from the gross boys who neg her to her mother’s well-meaning but abusive obsession with diets), her determination to love herself and claim her fatness are empowering. There’s no hidden message of avoiding food, no incidental weight loss paralleling Addie’s growth, just the conviction of one girl and her excellent friends that they are awesome and powerful and sexy.

Unabashedly, determinedly positive, with truly comical banter and the heroic climax of a teen movie.

(Fiction. 13-18)