Thursday, March 29, 2012

Review: Big Girl Small by Rachel DeWoskin


Title: Big Girl Small
Author: Rachel DeWoskin
Year Published: 2011

Genre: YA fiction
Pages: 292
Rating: 4 out of 5

Challenges:
Geography Connection (my Google Reading map): USA (Michigan)


FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my school library

Summary (from Amazon): Judy Lohden is your above-average sixteen-year-old—sarcastic and vulnerable, talented and uncertain, full of big dreams for a big future. With a singing voice that can shake an auditorium, she should be the star of Darcy Academy, the local performing arts high school. So why is a girl this promising hiding out in a seedy motel room on the edge of town?

The fact that the national media is on her trail after a controversy that might bring down the whole school could have something to do with it. And that scandal has something—but not everything—to do with the fact that Judy is three feet nine inches tall.

Review: While this book is ostensibly about a sixteen year old little person (she often uses the word dwarf), it is about much more:

  • Does how others see us create how we feel about ourselves?
  • How can we create confident children/teens despite our differences
  • Learning to find the real person behind the exterior, whether we are the jock, the little person, the goth, or the beauty queen

The story is also about high school: biology dissections; lockers; friendship; performing arts auditions; miscommunications; and more. It is funny, poignant, loving, and what it's like to be different when everyone just wants to fit in.

From the beginning the reader knows something bad has happened to Judy, it's why she is hiding out in a seedy motel, telling her story to a homeless man. As the story unfolds, we figure out what happened, or at least a vague idea of it, before the truth is revealed. It's a nightmare. It causes a scandal with big repercussions. The latter part of the book is about to come out above something REALLY embarrassing. How to return to school, face ones classmates, and community, and still hold up ones head and realize that it's all going to be okay. I love that Judy's family and closest girl friends are so supportive of her without being fake. With that support, we can get through anything.

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