Categories
Diversity Reading Challenge Young Adult

The 12 Books of #Diversity for the Holidays: Dumplin!

The 12 Books of #Diversity for the Holidays

3-books-of-diversity

Welcome back to  our #diversity countdown to Christmas. Our third book is Dumplin by Julie Murphy.

dumplin

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

You might not classify this book as diversity but I do. Although Will is white, she is a large girl. A fat girl, in her own words. And we all know how teens can suffer if they are deemed fat. What I love about Will is that she doesn’t hate her body like many fat girls, but she also has an edge to her; in a I’m going to reject you before you reject me sort of way. And also, she becomes sort of a hero to the other misfit girls at the school. A reluctant hero to a group of misfits who have bad attitudes.  Also? Texas!

I know I’m tired of the fat best friend trope, aren’t you? Here’s one that breaks that.

Also? It’s a Netflix movie! Have you seen it?

Categories
Diversity Reading Challenge Young Adult

The 12 Books of #Diversity for the Holidays DAY 3: Dumplin by Julie Murphy

The 12 Books of #Diversity
for the Holidays
Day Three

3-books-of-diversity

Welcome back to  our #diversity countdown to Christmas. Our third book is Dumplin by Julie Murphy.

dumplin

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

You might not classify this book as diversity but I do. Although Wil is white, she is a large girl. A fat girl, in her own words. And we all know how teens can suffer if they are deemed fat. What I love about Wil is that she doesn’t hate her body like many fat girls, but she also has an edge to her; in a I’m going to reject you before you reject me sort of way. And also, she becomes sort of a hero to the other misfit girls at the school. A reluctant hero to a group of misfits who have bad attitudes.  Also? Texas!

I know I’m tired of the fat best friend trope, aren’t you? Here’s one that breaks that.

Categories
Books Young Adult

Phoenixville Rising by Robb Cadigan

What’s more fun than reading a book?

Reading a book about a town you’re familiar with?

Reading a book when you know the author?

Reading a book and then getting to talk tot he author about the book?

yes, YES and YESSSS!!!

That is what is so ding dang fun about being a book reviewer. I get to read great books and meet great authors! That’s why I’m thrilled to present my newest bestie to you today: Robb Cadigan, author of Phoenixville Rising!

RobbCadigan.jpg

 

Robb is a local guy who made good of himself. But maybe I’ll let him tell you that tale another time, he’s promised to come back and give an interview. Live. in front of the camera. SQUEE!

Anyway, I’m thrilled to present Phoenixville Rising to you because as you might know, I host a book club for adults at the Towne Book Center & Cafe,  just outside Philadelphia. We chose Phoenixville Rising as our June book club pick and the book was my constant companion during my travels to NYC for BEA14.

I’d heard the book was good. Everyone in the neighborhood raved about it. But you know me: I hafta see it for myself. I said: “I’ll be the judge.”

And you know what? It’s Good! I mean like RandomPenguinHouse you should pick it up and republish it good.

Yep. It’s a coming of age story set in Phoenixville PA, a sleepy mill town in suburban Philadelphia. Like many mill towns, Phoenixville was glorious in its heyday. I was born in Pittsburgh so I can relate to this reminiscence.  But don’t let the former mill town saga get you down. Phoenixville Rising is a story of a bunch of streetwise kids and how they cope with life in this town.  Think of it as a modern day Outsiders, by SE Hinton. There are a slew of reasons these kids should do better.

And a slew of reasons why you love them anyway.  Remember your first love? Your first fight? Your yearning to leave a legacy?

Yeah that.

Happens to us all.

And it happened in Phoenixville.

This book would make a great character study for high school classes and is an insightful look into the demise of the mill towns of the past.  If you every get a chance to meet Robb, he’s a Very Important Author; you just haven’t met him yet. Stick with me though, I can introduce you to him. Don’t let his superstar sunglasses intimidate you; he’s a super cool guy who is easy to get along with and can spin a tale that might make you have a feeling.

Wanna connect with him? Catch him on The Twitter: Robb Cadigan and Facebook.  Do let him know I sent ya!