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FAT CHANCE by LeslÇa Newman

FAT CHANCE

By LeslÇa Newman

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Oct. 19th, 1994
ISBN: 0-399-22760-1
Publisher: Putnam

 This fictional diary of an eighth-grader is frighteningly realistic--and all too relevant. In Judi Leibowitz, Newman (Eating Our Hearts Out, 1993, etc.) has created a character who speaks for girls who are unhappy with their bodies, who diet obsessively from a very young age, and who often hurt themselves, physically and emotionally, in their quest for ``the perfect body.'' Like most of these girls, Judi has a completely normal figure but imagines herself to be obese. Nearly every entry of the diary she is keeping as an assignment for English is about her weight. Since the book is entirely from Judi's perspective, the reader only discovers that Judi is not fat from occasional hints--like when a classmate draws a picture and Judi doesn't recognize herself because she doesn't ``look fat at all.'' The girl Judi idolizes, Nancy Pratt, is eventually hospitalized for her bulimia, and Judi herself experiments with purging and laxatives when her dieting proves ineffectual. Judi disgusts herself, but she is powerless to stop her obsessive behavior until she shows her diary to her mother, who helps her get counseling. With Kate Moss's bony hips sticking out of billboards and magazines everywhere, girls can't hear enough about how attractive and normal their own bodies are. Kudos to Newman. (Fiction. 10-14)