DOUGH BOY by Peter Marino


Age Range: 14 & up
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Fifteen-year-old Tristan reports his enduring humiliation and bullying in this humorous tale about living under a yoke of criticism. Tristan’s newly divorced mother moves in with a sweet man named Frank; Frank’s daughter Kelly despises fatness. Despite the presence of two adults, she takes control of the household food and glares if Tristan even looks at an oatmeal cookie. Frank’s gentleness melts into passivity and Tristan’s mom is no help; the house deteriorates into fighting and misery. Sadly, Kelly’s family victims have difficulty standing up for themselves with any clarity or result until nearly the end. At school, peers taunt Tristan and trip him in the cafeteria. Marino is to be commended for avoiding the usual pitfall of this topic (fat character must lose weight to gain self-esteem); in fact, Tristan’s droll attitude is one of the highlights of his character. The material details of Tristan’s life don’t change much over the story’s arc, though by the end, he has begun to take control for himself. Insightful. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 2005
ISBN: 0-8234-1873-1
Page count: 221pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2005


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