Bound To Stay Bound

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 Dumplin'
 Author: Murphy, Julie

 Publisher:  HarperCollins (2017)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 375 p.,  22 cm

 BTSB No: 664953 ISBN: 9780062327185
 Ages: 13-17 Grades: 8-12

 Subjects:
 Overweight persons -- Fiction
 Beauty contests -- Fiction
 Dating (Social customs) -- Fiction
 Friendship -- Fiction
 Self-esteem -- Fiction
 Texas -- Fiction

Price: $8.19

Summary:
Sixteen-year-old Willowdean wants to prove to everyone in her small Texas town that she is more than just a fat girl, so, while grappling with her feelings for a co-worker who is clearly attracted to her, Will and some other misfits prepare to compete in the beauty pageant her mother runs.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: UG
   Reading Level: 4.60
   Points: 12.0   Quiz: 178396
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 6-8
   Reading Level: 4.40
   Points: 20.0   Quiz: 67979



Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 08/01/2015 Gr 9 Up—Sixteen-year-old Dolly Parton-loving Willowdean doesn't usually struggle with her identity and self-confidence as a fat girl in a her small Texas town, where her mother leads the local pageant scene, until hot former jock Bo kisses her. In this novel, Murphy takes her time letting Willowdean explore her feelings about a variety of situations relating to friendship, jealousy, sexual attraction, drag queens, her obese aunt's death, her relationship with her mother, and her own self-worth. Murphy celebrates small-town Texas with her strong sense of community and culture, in part by creating very realistic and deep characters to populate Willowdean's world, having them frequent places like truckbeds and fast-food joints, and giving them pure Texan dialogue: "Oh God, roll down the mother flippin' windows!" Unlike the similarly smart, funny, and large heroines of Robin Brande's Fat Cat (Knopf, 2009) or Suzanne Supplee's Artichoke's Heart (Dutton, 2008), Willowdean doesn't have to lose the weight to get the boy and her confidence, but instead remains a strong and realistic overweight girl to whom many readers will aspire: "I'm not doing this to be some kind of Joan of Fat Girls, or whatever. I'm doing this…for me." VERDICT A joyous read that will be beloved by many teens who can relate to feeling uncertain in their own skins.—Rhona Campbell, Georgetown Day School, Washington, DC - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 08/01/2015 *Starred Review* Willowdean Dickson, self-proclaimed fat girl and Dolly Parton enthusiast, has this to say: “The word fat makes people uncomfortable.” Will’s mother (who calls her Dumplin’) is a former winner of the local Miss Teen Blue Bonnet contest and now runs it, which makes pageant season an unwelcome constant in Will’s life. To ignore it, she concentrates on her friendship with her bestie, Ellen, and her crush on fellow fast-food worker Bo, while trying to shake her grief over the death of her beloved 498-pound aunt. Knowing what it means to be fat, as well as what it means to her mother to be thin, Will decides to be happy being herself. Because why not? But when Bo kisses her behind the dumpster, and she and Ellen flameout, her life is turned inside out, and who she is becomes a question more than an answer. Murphy juggles a lot of plates here, and mostly keeps them admirably spinning. The story’s set piece is the beauty contest, which Will and several other misfits decide to enter, ready to take the ridicule in trade for their right to the spotlight, but there are also splendid subplots involving friendships, the push-pull of the mother-daughter relationship, and the kindness of strangers, including an encouraging drag queen. Will’s singular voice compels readers to think about all that goes into building—and destroying—self-esteem. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.

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