MOOSE by Stephanie Klein


A Memoir of Fat Camp
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A candid memoir of the author’s struggle with her weight.

When Klein (Straight Up and Dirty: A Memoir, 2006), a self-professed rotund adolescent turned nicely shaped adult, was told by her pre-term labor specialist that she must gain 50 pounds before giving birth, the author understandably balked. “If I gained 50 pounds, I’d weigh more than a Honda,” she notes, “and certainly more than my husband, which was worse.” Her doctor’s edict transported her back to childhood, which was filled with taunts, unrequited crushes and unhealthy processed food. Klein recalls when she hit “156 pounds and change” despite numerous trips to a local nutritionist, after which she was sent off to Camp Yanisin, an overnight camp where overweight children learn how to eat and exercise properly. The most important lessons came not from the counselors, but from fellow campers, who all battled the same demons. A popular blogger, Klein is occasionally honest to the point of discomfort, but her sense of humor and appreciation of the absurd temper her periodic self-pity and make her sophomore outing at once readable and inspiring. When things get too heavy (no pun intended), there’s a childhood diary entry to lighten the mood: “I’m considered ‘hot’ at this camp. I’m going to get so much booty when I get home—don’t get me wrong, I’m not a slut. I just have a hard time saying ‘no.’ ”

With vivid characterizations, spot-on locale descriptions and sly jokes at her own expense, Klein offers an original and touching take on the all-too-common problem of childhood obesity.

Pub Date: May 20th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-06-084329-8
Page count: 364pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2008