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Big Fat Manifesto

Review

Big Fat Manifesto

In
some ways, Jamie Carcaterra is your average high school senior. She
is overwhelmed with deadlines, struggling to study for the ACT,
courageously filling out college applications, stressing on how to
pay for college, dedicated to practicing for her school’s
musical, and completely committed to spending hours on the school
paper. Somehow, in the midst of all of this madness, Jamie finds
time to spend with her two best friends --- Freddie (Frederica) and
NoNo (Nora Nostenfast) --- and her football-playing boyfriend,
Burke.


In other ways, Jamie is not a typical teen. She is what some health
professionals would call “morbidly obese.” Jamie,
however, simply considers herself to be fat. She doesn’t
delude herself about her health, nor does she let it slow her down
in any way; she has a very busy life filled with friends and
activities. Sure, Jamie has tried to lose weight and has dreamt of
being supermodel skinny. But she plows ahead with her life as if it
doesn’t bother her --- even though, deep down inside, it
really does.


Jamie decides to enter the National Feature Award scholarship
program by writing the best, most outrageous, hilarious,
chock-full-of-attitude school newspaper series ever. Not only will
winning pay for her college expenses, it would be her chance to
convey to the world what it’s really like to live as an
overweight teen. In her Big Fat Manifesto, she calls herself Fat
Girl, debunks myths, shares alarming statistics and even goes
undercover with the curvy Freddie and skinny No-No into a fashion
mall, proving how horrid overweight people are treated.


Then Burke shocks Jamie with an announcement. He decides to get
weight loss bypass surgery, which has huge risks associated with
it. Jamie argues with him and tries to talk him out of it, but
eventually she accepts that he is going through with the
life-changing operation and vows to support him. Jamie adds this
unexpected twist into her articles, describing the gory details and
heart-draining worry as she and his family brew in the hospital
waiting room during the procedure.


Jamie’s articles start drawing more and more attention, even
reaching beyond the school halls and out into the community. But
not all of it is positive. Will these writings be enough to win her
the scholarship? Will she lose Burke as a result of the surgery?
Jamie experiences some painful discoveries as she searches for the
answers.


Award-winning author Susan Vaught brings the world a very different
kind of novel, one in which the main character is strong, defiant,
ambitious, hilarious, intelligent and overweight. Jamie will remain
in the hearts and minds of readers long after the last page is
turned. Not only does Vaught weave into her story some very
disturbing statistics and trivia about obesity in America, she also
invites her audience to share in some of the emotional suffering
that people like Jamie endure. BIG FAT MANIFESTO is a winner!


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Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on October 18, 2011

Big Fat Manifesto
by Susan Vaught

  • Publication Date: December 26, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
  • ISBN-10: 1599902060
  • ISBN-13: 9781599902067