Diversify YA Life: Not-So-Skinny POVs

Image is important when you are a teen, especially in the era of the selfie. Posting photos on social media for all to criticize can have ill effects on a teen’s image.

In recent months, body shaming has been headline news due to comedian Nicole Arbour’s vlog called Dear Fat People. Her “satirical” commentary sparked a nationwide conversation about harmful speech.  Celebrities such as Demi Lovato, Kelly Clarkson, and Selena Gomez have spoken out about people who call out their weight in photos.  The common denominator is that fat shaming must stop and we must learn to respect everyone regardless of how they look.

Recent YA novels have addressed body image in different ways. Some novels are about bullying, some focus on relationship issues with parents, some feature boys, and some are just stories that feature characters that aren’t thin.  Regardless of the issue, readers come in all shapes and sizes and all teens should see themselves in books, which is why the latest installment of Diversity YA features not-so-skinny POVs.

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Below are a list of YA novels that feature teens of varied size and circumstance.

Male POVs

  • Fat Boy Vs. The Cheerleaders by Geoff Herbach (2015 Top Ten Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults)

When Gabe finds out that the vending machine money funds the cheer squad instead of the band, he makes it his mission to change it back. Continue reading Diversify YA Life: Not-So-Skinny POVs

Crossovers: Weighty Issues

DietlandOne of this year’s hot debuts is Dietland by Sarai Walker. Written for adults, the novel is related by the immensely likable Plum Kettle, an intelligent young woman who responds to “Dear Kitty” emails from adolescent girls in need of guidance. Beyond that, Plum hides. Weighing in at over 300 pounds, Plum attracts all the wrong kinds of attention, and it’s just unbearable. Her plan is gastric bypass surgery, after which she can reclaim her given name, Alicia, and wear all the cute clothes she’s been storing in her closet.

But Plum’s life goes completely off course when she meets a group of woman who battle society’s preoccupation with physical beauty. Plum alternately loves them and hates them, reactions, no doubt, shared by many readers. What seems to be a straightforward story about one overweight woman explodes into a high stakes action adventure featuring a terrorist group known as “Jennifer.” This book packs a lot, but perhaps most poignant are the “Dear Kitty” emails. Teen readers will come to love Plum through her thoughtful and funny responses. Continue reading Crossovers: Weighty Issues