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Friday, February 21, 2014

Teen Pick: Fat Boy vs. the Cheerleaders

Fat Boy vs the Cheerleaders
by Geoff Herbach
Sourcebooks Fire
320 pages
ISBN: 9781402291418

Available May 6, 2014

Geoff Herbach tells a story like no other YA author can--he tells it with outrageous humor, spot-on teen dialog, and believable snark.

Gabe Johnson is the butt (pun intended) of the whole school's jokes. They call him names, they laugh at his butt shaking dances, and jocks go out of their way to defeat him. Popular cheerleaders Janessa and Emily  take cheap shots at Gabe calling him Chunk. This band geek is about to explode, and when he does, he will enrage fellow band students to stand up to the cheerleaders and jocks.

When the funds from the coke machine are diverted from Gabe's school band to the cheerleaders for a new dance team, Gabe makes a stand...this is not just a stand. It is of epic proportions. Gabe LOVES band--and now the principal is cancelling summer band camp so the cheerleaders can have their dance team? With the help of his friends and supporters, Gabe stirs the entire school and community of small town Minnekota Lake into an uproar.

The novel is told in the form of Gabe's statement to his attorney Henry Rodriguez. Gabe finds himself needing representation after an unfortunate series of events.

The character of Gabe is believable, loveable, and he turns out to be harder than steel instead of soft as a marshmallow. This fat boy is mad and working on himself. He won't be the butt of their jokes forever, he decides. The only reason he's the center of the mean kids' wrath is that he makes himself the center of it. Gabe realizes he has more than one fight on his hands. He just needs to convince himself that he is capable of changing himself. Once his mindset has changed, the kids can't get to him anymore.

Readers who love an underdog will love Gabe and his journey to become a winner. They will be rooting for him and his cause.

Highly recommended grade 9-up. Language. Mature situations. On-line bullying.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this ARC from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

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