Sunday, August 11, 2013

45 Pounds (More or Less) but with a message worth its weight in gold!

Book:  45 Pounds (More or Less)
Author:  K.A. Barson
Publisher:  Viking Juvenile
Date:  Available now
Source:  Publisher via Netgalley
My grade:  A+

Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi’s life:

She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 10 weeks, and wants Ann to be her bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less) in 2 1/2 months.

Welcome to the world of infomercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons, embarrassing run-ins with the cutest guy Ann’s ever seen—-and some surprises about her NOT-so-perfect mother. 

And there’s one more thing. It’s all about feeling comfortable in your own skin-—no matter how you add it up!

"Deliciously relatable with a lot of laughter on the side." -- Rita Williams-Garcia, New York Times best-selling author  (cover and description from
Initial Reaction
What a delightful book!!!

Cover Story
Love this cover!  It pretty much nails it.  And the title does too.  Why aren’t there more book covers like this one???

What’s the Story?
What a refreshing book!  This book looked at body and self-image issues without taking itself too seriously.  But it still delivered a fantastic message in the end.  How did you do that, K.A. Barson??  You are a freaking genius!

First, let me start by saying that the real success of this book lies with Ann, the main character.  She is just so…..likeable!  Yes, she sometimes falls into the “Woe is me!” routine, but seriously, what girl doesn’t from time to time?  I know I still do!  But she pretty much keeps right on plowing through.  She’s not a popular girl, but she’s not the school pariah either.  She seems to be pretty well-liked by most everyone, even though she’s not really close to anyone.

I think this book really nails it when it comes to weight struggles and body image issues.  What made this book great though, is that it managed to look at weight issues in society while still maintaining a good sense of humor.  It was an uplifting story, even though Ann never did lose that full 45 pounds.  And I was more than ok with that!

I think this book did a great job of addressing America’s unhealthy obsession with weight.  From the whole diet infomercial fiasco, to the revelation of an eating disorder to Ann’s epiphany about how weight obsession is affecting her little sister, this novel cuts to the quick of pretty much every weight issue in modern day America.  And it was inspiring to see how well it addressed all of those!

I loved watching Ann come to terms with her weight and her family and her friendship situation and find a balance that worked for HER.  Her growth emotionally mixed with her physical weight loss had me cheering for her the whole time!  Not to mention the cute boy who liked her no matter what size dress she was wearing.

I was so happy when Ann started to realize that she didn’t have to take scraps of love and friendship from people any longer and that she could start to assert herself and make people treat her the way she wanted to be treated.  This book was such a wonderful statement of standing up for yourself and demanding respect.  It was also a wonderful look at the problems of body image and how our obsession with thinness is hurting girls in our society.

I loved this book and I can’t wait to start recommending it to my students!  If you are looking for a book that deals with some pretty heavy issues (no pun intended!) but manages to leave you laughing and feeling good, pick this book up as soon as possible!

The Soundtrack

Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) by Mika

So Beautiful by Superchick

Video by India Arie

Unpretty by TLC

Beautiful by Christina Aguilera

Born This Way by Lady Gaga

The Final Grade
My final grade for this book is an A+.  This is a very timely book that approaches a serious issue in a way that makes you think but doesn’t leave you completely depressed and despairing.  A fun book about a serious issue might sound like an oxymoron, but this book delivers on both counts!

1 comment:

  1. Ooh! This seems good! I will definitely read this! Thanks for sharing! Great review by the way, I love the soundtrack.