FAT CAT by Robin Brande


Age Range: 12 & up
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To win the science fair, get revenge on a boy and become her true self, Cat, a hefty high-school student, decides to be her own experiment. Cat will live a prehistoric lifestyle, which involves walking everywhere, avoiding technology and eschewing processed food. Part fat-girl-slims-down book, part advertisement for the real-food movement and part love story, this novel chronicles the many changes in Cat’s life as she goes from stout to scorching. The science-experiment part of the tale is a bit of a gimmick; it morphs from science fair to social science once Cat gets cute enough to attract boys. A subplot involving a restaurant venture bores, and a half-articulated argument for vegetarianism goes nowhere, but many girls may find the heart of the novel—how Cat changes psychologically as her fat melts away—inspirational. Others will find it discouraging: Savvy readers will notice that the book has an internal contradiction, strongly stating that one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover while simultaneously showing how much better it is to be thin—which mirrors society’s own pretty exactly. (Fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 13th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-375-84449-2
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2009