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Top 10: Teen titles that deal with obesity and body image

The past couple of days, we have been talking body image and the depiction of obese teens in teen fiction.  So here’s our list of the Top 10 Titles that deal with body image with an emphasis on titles that deal with teens struggling with obesity.

Obesity and Teens in Teen Fiction: a discussion
Every Day by David Levithan, a book review
Butter by Erin Jade Lange, a book review
A Second Opinion: Every Day by David Levithan
Coming Soon: a review of Skinny by Donna Cooner

Fat Kid Rules The World by K. L. Going
“Whats ironic,” he adds, shaking his head, “is that everyone’s so busy trying not to look like they’re looking at you that they’re really not looking at you.”

Shattering Glass by Gail Giles
“Simon Glass was easy to hate. I never knew exactly why, there was just too much to pick from. I guess, really, we each hated him for a different reason, but we didn’t realize it until the day we killed him.”
Hunger by Jackie Morsel Kessler
“Living means constantly growing closer to death. Satisfaction only temporarily relieves hunger. Find the balance, and plant your feet.”
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher
“From a distance,’ he says, ‘my car looks just like every other car on the freeway, and Sarah Byrnes looks just like the rest of us. And if she’s going to get help, she’ll get it from herself or she’ll get it from us. Let me tell you why I brought this up. Because the other day when I saw how hard it was for Mobe to go to the hospital to see her, I was embarrassed that I didn’t know her better, that I ever laughed at one joke about her. I was embarrassed that I let some kid go to school with me for twelve years and turned my back on pain that must be unbearable. I was embarrassed that I haven’t found a way to include her somehow the way Mobe has.”
Butter by Erin Jade Lange

“If you can stomach it, you’re invited to watch… as I eat myself to death.”

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
“The Fat Girl Code of Conduct:
1. Any sexual activity is a secret. No public displays of affection.
2. Don’t discuss your weight with him.
3. Go further than skinny girls. If you can’t sell him on your body, you’d better overcompensate with sexual perks.
4. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever push the relationship thing. ”

Skinny by Donna Cooner
“It just wasn’t fair. God made some people naturally skinny and some people naturally fat. I’d never know how my life would have been different if I’d been one of the ones He made skinny. I didn’t know how He chose. This one will be blonde, with long thin legs and great skin. This one will be short and fat with legs that rub together when she walks. I just knew I wasn’t one of the lucky ones.”

Perfect by Ellen Hopkins
Is that what you are
if you choose to improve
the basic not perfect you?” 

The List by Siobhan Vivian
“Sometimes, when you get something new, you trick yourself into believing it has the power to change absolutely everything about you.” 

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger
“Calling Vikki a slut or a whore was just like calling somebody the Duff. It was insulting and hurtful, and it was one of those titles that just fed off the inner fear every girl must have from time to time. Slut, bitch, prude, tease, ditz. They were all the same. Every girl felt like one of these sexist labels described her at some point.” 

What’s on your list?

Please see our previous Top 10 List on Body Image and Eating Disorders

Some articles about obesity in teen fiction:
ALAN “Meant to Be Huge”
Plus Size Teen Fiction
Weighing in on Weight by Rae Carson



  1. Weight is an issue like LGBT or race. Okay, I get that some books have to be ABOUT these issues, but what I love is when a book is about saving the world, losing it, coming of age, solving a mystery or whatnot and the character just happens to be LGBT, POC or overweight. Or have a disability? So I'm going to say EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL by Simmone Howell though epic fail on the slim-washed cover model.

  2. Good to see some titles having obesity as a part of the plot. I just hope the readers see it objectively and learn how to deal with it or with people who are obese.

  3. This blog will help out the readers with these type of problems. Well written article.

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