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Fat Kid Rules the Worldby K. L. Going
2004 Michael L. Printz Honor Book
Synopses & Reviews
Troy Billings is seventeen, 296 pounds, friendless, utterly miserable, and about to step off a New York subway platform in front of an oncoming train. Until he meets Curt MacCrae, an emaciated, semi-homeless, high school dropout guitar genius, the stuff of which Lower East Side punk rock legends are made. Never mind that Troy's dad thinks Curt's a drug addict and Troy's brother thinks Troy's the biggest (literally) loser in Manhattan. Soon, Curt's recruited Troy as his new drummer — even though Troy can't play the drums. Together, Curt and Troy will change the world of punk, and Troy's own life, forever.
"In her savvy and fast-paced debut, Going tells the story of high school senior Troy Billings, 6'1", 300 pounds and completely unhappy. An eternal fish out of water, Troy is on the verge of suicide — at least he believes he is — when he is inexplicably rescued by the dangerously thin Curt MacRae. A homeless boy who constantly pops pills (Tylenol and Imodium, he says), Curt is a legendary local punk rock musician. The unlikeliest of friendships develops, and Curt recruits Troy as the drummer in his new band. Troy, who thinks in headlines (the titular example being one of his more optimistic lines), is a winning narrator, immediately roping us into his sad-sack ennui. But for all his problems — his weight, his relative lack of social skills, a brother and father who don't understand him — there is a sweetness to Troy, which rescues the book from becoming a Prozac nightmare. And Troy's experiences within the band ably mirror his uninvited shove into adulthood. But the most fascinating and compelling character is his father; a widower and a retired marine, he is a man of very few words, but the growth he undergoes in these few pages is remarkable. Going uses a fair amount of explicit language in her dialogue ('No one beats me or fucks me without my permission. Got that?' says Curt) but it lends an air of authenticity to the dealings of two young men — both trapped in their own extremes, both in need of interface with others, both able to clumsily help each other. Ages 14-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Going creates a completely credible picture of the New York punk-rock scene and makes us believe in Troy's bumpy journey toward becoming both a rock-band drummer and a true friend; in the process she identifies herself as one of the most promising new voices in YA fiction." Children's Literature
"Anyone who works with teenagers will recognize Curt and Troy immediately and come away from this book with a new understanding of what each person does in the name of self-protection." VOYA
"[An] impressive debut that offers hope for all kids." Booklist
A beautifully voiced debut captures an intimate story of change and acceptance.
Twelve-year-old Davis lives in an old brownstone with his mother and grandmother in Brooklyn. He loves people-watching in Prospect Park, visiting his mom in the bakery she owns, and listening to the biggest operas he can find as he walks everywhere.
But Davis is having a difficult summer. As questions of sexuality begin to enter his mind, he worries people dont see him as anything other than husky.” To make matters worse, his best girlfriends are starting to hang out with mean girls and popular boys. Davis is equally concerned about the distance forming between him and his single mother as she begins dating again, and about his changing relationship with his amusingly loud Irish grandmother, Nanny.
Ultimately, Davis learns to see himself outside of his one defining adjective. Hes a kid with unique interests, admirable qualities, and people who will love him no matter what changes life brings about.
A Michael L. Printz Honor Book
Troy Billings is seventeen, 296 pounds, friendless, utterly miserable, and about to step off a New York subway platform in front of an oncoming train. Until he meets Curt MacCrae, an emaciated, semi-homeless, high school dropout guitar genius, the stuff of which Lower East Side punk rock legends are made. Never mind that Troys dad thinks Curts a drug addict and Troys brother thinks Troys the biggest (literally) loser in Manhattan. Soon, Curts recruited Troy as his new drummer—even though Troy cant play the drums. Together, Curt and Troy will change the world of punk, and Troys own life, forever.
"Troy's voice is candid, irreverent, realistic and humorous. [A] wonderful, engrossing tale."—SLJ
An ALA BBYA
A BCCB Blue Ribbon Book
A Booklist Editors' Choice
An SLJ Best Book of the Year
A Miami Herald Best Book of the Year
About the Author
Going has worked as an adult literacy tutor since graduating college. She has also been a ticket agent for an airline, a front desk clerk at a resort hotel, and a bookstore salesperson. Currently, she assists two agents in a Manhattan literary agency.
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