Starfish by Lisa Fipps
Nancy Paulsen Books / Penguin Random House
Publication Date: March 9, 2021
Ellie is tired of people fat-shaming her. She’s tired of bullies at school making fun of her. She’s tired of her siblings’ negative comments, and she’s tired of her mother scrutinizing her weight and her eating habits. Most of all, Ellie is tired of living by the Fat Girl Rules. So, with the support of her friends, her dad, and her therapist, Ellie decides to do something about it.
This novel in verse features a positive portrayal of fatness that’s evident from the bold cover, which features Ellie floating on her back in a pool in her swimsuit. The plot is engaging and emotional, and readers will empathize with Ellie’s struggles and triumphs. The characters are believable, and Ellie’s friendship with her new neighbor Catalina, and her family, as well as the support from her dad and her therapist ground the book.
Readers of Dear Sweet Pea and Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy and The (Other) F Word edited by Angie Manfredi will find a lot to love with this novel.
–Ness Shortley, Pittsboro, NC
Other Nominated Titles
- Playing With Fire by April Henry (January 19, 2021)
The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the Title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.
Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten. The previous years’ lists are available on The Hub.