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This title in other editions

Fat Kid Rules the World


Fat Kid Rules the World Cover




Chapter 1

Im a sweating fat kid standing on the edge of the subway platform staring at the tracks. Im 17 years old, weigh 296 pounds, and Im six-foot-one. I have a crew cut, yes a crew cut, sallow skin, and the kind of mouth that puckers when I breathe. Im wearing a shirt that reads MIAMI BEACH – SPRING BREAK 1997 and huge, bland tan pants – the only kind of pants I own. Eight pairs, all tan.

Its Sunday afternoon and Im standing just over the yellow line trying to decide whether people would laugh if I jumped. Would it be funny if the fat kid got splattered by a subway train? Is that funny? Im not being facetious; I really want to know. Like it or not, apparently theres something funny about fat people. Something unpredictable. Like when I put on my jacket and everyone in the hallway stifles laughter. Or when I stand up after sitting in the cafeteria and Jennifer Maraday, Brooke Rodriguez, and Amy Glover all bust a gut. I dont get angry. I just think, What was funny about that? Did my butt jiggle? Did I make the bench creak so that it sounded like a fart? Did I leave an indentation? Theres got to be something, right? Right?

So its not a stretch to be standing on the wrong side of the yellow line giving serious thought to whether people would laugh if I threw myself in front of the F train. And thats the one thing that cant happen. People cant laugh. Even I deserve a decent suicide.

Thats why Im standing here. Because I cant make up my mind. Im thinking about what Dayle said. Go ahead… I wouldnt miss you. Go ahead… Go ahead… Im telling myself my brother didnt mean it, but even I know thats a lie. Meanwhile its hot and Ive been standing too long… I close my eyes and imagine the whole scene as it might play out.

First, the train is coming, its single headlight illuminating the dark tracks. I hear its deep rumble and take the fateful step forward. I want to picture myself flying dramatically through the air but realize I wouldnt have the muscle power to launch my body. Instead, I would plummet straight down. Maybe I wouldnt even get my other leg off the platform – my weight would pull me down like an anchor. Thats how I see it. The train plows into me; my fat busts apart, expands to cover the train window and the tunnel walls. Im splattered. Except for my left leg which is lying on the platform untouched – a fat, bleeding hunk of raw meat.

FAT KID MESSES UP – coming soon to a theater near you.

I start to laugh. Suddenly theres something funny about it. I swear to God. There really is.

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Average customer rating based on 11 comments:

masman00001, November 14, 2007 (view all comments by masman00001)
Think of the fattest person you know then think of what they go through each day when they do something, anything someone almost always laughs. What would they do, actually what would you do? Maybe commit suicide by jumping in front of a train, a bus, a car? Well in Fat Kid Rules the World he is just about to when someone helps him. He is a skinny homeless pile of stink and dirt yet is one awesome guitarist. It has a great point of view for the fat kid, Troy, like what he eats and how he responds to people staring at him and how he feels about his family. Even though I’m a thin 120 pound person I know what he is talking about. Going spells out that Troy was hanging on by a single licorice strand until a little help and a small hobby like playing an instrument keeps him going and allows him surpass his standard for living and seeing other things. For some reason Troy thinks that everyone is always watching him just because his is six foot three-hundred pounds. Plus every time that he does something at his school like standing up or walking people laugh at him and it makes him hyperventilate which by the look of fat people walking around is exactly what they do. This book is for just about anyone fat, skinny. But if you know a little about music that would help a little to understand how hard some of the stuff he is trying to do. It would also help a little to have been to a concert to watch a band play just to relate to what he has to do and go through plus what has to be done if you’re in the band.
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87, November 14, 2007 (view all comments by 87)
Can you imagine being 296 pounds, with no friends, a dead mother, and your brother hates you. I can tell you one person that can, Troy Billings. Not only does he have to face the everyday problems of life, but he has to face them with an extra 100 pounds on his body, until the day he meets Curt. Curt is a homeless kid that just wants to start a band and all he is missing is a drummer, which is where Troy comes in. While Troy is learning to play the drums he also learns new things about himself and gains his confidence back. Fat Kid Rules the World is a very comical book. Troy’s sarcastic humor keeps you laughing all the way until the end. Curt’s laid back attitude makes him easy to relate to and Troy’s brother, Dayle, makes you want to punch him in the face. I think this book is a fantastic book, because it has humor, sarcasm, and a great ending. The author’s message seems clear near the middle of the book, she is bluntly saying that we should accept ourselves the way we are. I think that not only does this book has a lot of values but it also shows ways to start accepting yourself and stop bringing yourself down. I think that when Troy starts putting posters in his room is a very important part, because he was learning how to show the real him. I would recommend this book for any teenager who needs help accepting themselves and wants to be who they are. I would not recommend this book for people who do not like foul language and that is not good at relating to characters.
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phx_suns_fan_1, November 14, 2007 (view all comments by phx_suns_fan_1)

Troy is a 296 pound obese kid goes through a lot of stuff in his life and finds a great friend in curt yet it’s his only friend when he is about to commit suicide and then there is troy. They then try to start a band and go big and Troy is the drummer in the band and he has no idea how to play the drums. This book had many excellent things in it one thing Troy had was he was about to commit suicide and he met a dirty homeless kid named Curt. This book was very interesting and I enjoyed it very much. I never wanted to put the book down every time I had to put the book down I was upset because I was so into this kind of a book. This book had a lot or cursing in it I would not have anyone read this that is under 6th grade. I liked how Troy didn’t have any friends but then when he met Curt they were already best friends, I also like how they started a band and troy had no idea how to play the drums but he quickly learned. I think the author’s message in this story was to say even if you are fat and you have no friends there will always be someone there for you. I think it is a very good book to read but not for young kids since it has so many curse words in it. When Curt invited Troy into a new band I think that showed Troy that he is not a horrible person and you can always find friends would recommend this to anyone that is a teen no younger than that. This is a suitable book for all genders. I think a lot of people could enjoy this story. I think parents would probably not enjoy this book as much as students would but it is very enjoyable.

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Product Details

Going, K. L.
Sayre, Justin
Santat, Dan
Sayre, J. E.
Children's 12-Up - Fiction - General
Social Situations - Friendship
Social Issues - Friendship
Situations / Friendship
New york (n.y.)
Drug abuse
Children s Young Adult-Social Issue Fiction-Friendship
Children s Young Adult-Social Issue Fiction
Animals - Pets
Situations / Adolescence
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 6
7.63 x 5.13 in 1 lb
Age Level:

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Related Subjects

Children's » Awards » Michael L. Printz Award Winners
Children's » Performing Arts » Music
Children's » Situations » Physical and Emotional Abuse
Young Adult » Featured Titles
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Adolescence
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Friendship
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Suicide
Young Adult » General

Fat Kid Rules the World Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Speak - English 9780142402085 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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.)
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "[An] impressive debut that offers hope for all kids."
"Synopsis" by ,
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.

"Synopsis" by ,
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


BCCB Blue Ribbon Book

Booklist Editors' Choice

An SLJ Best Book of the Year

Miami Herald Best Book of the Year

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