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Fat Kid Rules The World (2004)

Fat Kid Rules the World (2004)

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3.79 of 5 Votes: 1
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0142402087 (ISBN13: 9780142402085)

About book Fat Kid Rules The World (2004)

I absolutely loved this book and while I was reading it I couldn’t help thinking of students who I thought would too. It is not just a tale of friendship and music; it also tackles other tough issues like homelessness, body image, bullying, drug addiction, dysfunctional families, and abuse. There is some strong language and drug abuse, but this book should be appropriate for older teen readers. Loved it!My Booktalk: Troy Billings is a 300 pound screw-up who has had enough. He is tired of being laughed at and being made fun of. Even worse, he’s tired of the people who stare at him but pretend to ignore him at the exact same time. That’s why when we first meet Troy, he’s standing on the edge of a subway platform ready to commit suicide. That is, until Curt MacCrae, a virtual legend in his school, the “only truly homeless, sometimes student, sometimes dropout, punk rock artist god” Troy knows of but has never met personally, shows up.Embarrassed and feeling like even more of a loser, Troy tries to leave, but Curt insists that Troy owes him lunch—for saving his life. Before he knows it, Curt has recruited Troy, who played drums in 7th grade but not since, to join Curt’s two-man-band and before he knows it, Troy invites Curt to his house for some much needed “personal hygiene enhancement “and sleep.Suddenly, Troy’s life has new meaning and he finally has chance to prove his worth to himself, his military dad, his too-cool brother, Dayle, and his whole school. Then he finds out that their band’s gig is only 5 weeks away.“Chapter 58.There is no new thing. There is only the same thing, which gets old very quickly. Practice, practice, and more practice. As the days progress, I have to mentally detach from everything I ever imagined about being in a band.Fat Kid Dreams of Being in a Band:When I imagined myself in a band, it was always fun. The word “band” conjured up hot chicks screaming for my jiggling body, fabulous music played at top volume in huge arenas, and adoring fans throwing themselves off skyscraper amplifiers. I pictured myself in tailor-made 2XX leather pants and a black beret, dark glasses pulled down as I ooze out of the limo.Reality:Curt and I in my bedroom trying to scrub half a bottle of NyQuil out of my carpet before Dad gets home. I’ve got gas and Curt’s pissed because his guitar string broke, he lost his pick, and I won’t lend him ten dollars because I’ve already loaned him twenty this week. It’s only 8:30, but Dayle’s trying to “power sleep” in order to improve his football game, so every time we actually start to play something he throws his cleats against the wall. My fingers have blisters and my fat gets in the way when I try to play anything fast.We’ve got two weeks before our first gig.“Better double our practice time,” Curt says.”The night of their first show doesn’t go so well. In fact, Troy is so nervous for his big debut that he vomits all over the stage…right before he runs off. To his amazement, the audience loves it and thinks it’s just part of the act. It isn’t until two weeks later that he will finally get a second chance. But, how can he focus on the one thing Curt asks of him when suddenly the tables are turned and he finds himself fighting to save Curt’s life?

Reviewed by Cana Rensberger for TeensReadToo.comTroy knows that everyone is watching him. And laughing at him. Of course they are. At seventeen years old and almost 300 pounds, wearing what appears to be the same pair of tan pants daily, every move he makes is laughable. Will he be able to get out of the car? How many burgers will he eat? Even his effort to breathe is laughable as he huffs and puffs his way along. He worries that he smells. You don’t understand. It’s not that he’s a pig or anything, he just has a hard time fitting in the shower.Poised over the subway tracks, Troy contemplates whether he can find a form of suicide that will be so serious, so severe, that no one will laugh. Enter Curt. Semi-homeless teen, school dropout, legend at his high school, and uber amazing guitar player, Curt attaches himself to Troy after saving him from the tracks. He’s an itch that can’t be scratched, a tick burrowing under the skin. Before Troy realizes it, he’s agreed to buy Curt dinner and join his band as a drummer, even though he hasn’t played since seventh grade.Who is he kidding? He can’t do this. He sees it in the eyes of his perfect kid brother, Dayle, as well as his military dad, the “disappointed dysfunctional parent."But with Curt’s help, Troy learns to look past himself. He finds support in unexpected places. But it’s not until Curt is hospitalized that Troy finally has the guts to really take a risk.This is a fast-paced book. K. L. Going immerses the reader in the world of punk rock through the eyes of the fat kid who yearns to have people really look at him. She has a great sense of humor that shines with lines of comparison, like when Troy compares himself to Dayle before the big gig. Troy thinks Dayle looks like he’s “ready to win the Super Bowl, while I’m ready to heave into one." Ms. Going does an amazing job of getting into the psyche of the fat kid. There is a fair amount of rough language, but even so, this book rocks!

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Possibly one of my all time favorite YA novels.... found my 2008 review and want to spread the word. I got a freshman who hadn't finished a book in 7 months to read this book and come back begging for more like it!Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going - Motherless Troy lives with his ex-marine father and jock brother in New York City. Self-described as 300 pounds, Troy feels friendless and alone and lives in fear of the laughter he feels whenever others look at him. One day, while contemplating jumping in front of a subway train, but afraid the incident will be seen as funny by others, Troy meets Curt, a legendary semi-homeless drug abusing guitar playing teenager. Troy somehow ends up agreeing to form a band with Curt, even though Troy hasn't played drums since junior high school. The story then slowly shows us Troy learning to see himself, and those around him, as much more than the summation of their lives. Troy isn't just a fat kid, Curt isn't just a junkie, his father isn't just a leatherneck, and his brother isn't the popular self confident jock he appears to be. This is a funny, sad, ultimately hopeful book about a boy who learns to look at people as more than just their simple characteristics. It helps that Going makes the action so funny at times. A cut above the usual YA lit novel.

There was a brief article about the author in School Library Journal and we had two of her books in. I chose the one that seemed the least depressing. Our library copy had all the "cuss words" underlined in the beginning by some enthusiast - until there were just too many to bother with, I guess - heh! But this book is about kids in New York City and leaving that out wouldn't be an accurate portrayal of these kids. The NYer in me laughs when Troy takes taxis everywhere. NYC is the walkin'est, public transportationist place I've ever lived. The only time he seems to have use for the subway is to attempt suicide (okay, and once he takes the subway with Curt to show how Curt can leap over the gates and ride for free). That aside, I can't tell how accurate any of the other bits are as a) I am not a teen and b) I know nothing at all about the popular music scene. I do, however, know about being fat. I can't say I found the fatness totally convincing, but the story was pretty good. Parents might be appalled by this book, but it's a light read and teens will go for the angst. Troy, or Big T, is a big guy: he's over 6' tall and almost 300 lbs. Rather than being shunned, one would think he'd be feared, but instead he is too good-natured to be a bully and so turns in on himself. For no good reason at all, he's conscripted by a homeless prescription drug addict to be in a band. Troy's younger brother has no respect for him and his father, retired Marine Corps, despairs of getting the boy in fighting trim. (Now, how can that be? How can a kid totally cowed by his father like Troy is, not be sent out to run laps?) The HPDA is apparently a guitar genius and magically recognizes something punk in Troy's soul and tries to develop it. Troy tries to sabotage himself every step of the way. Now, that rings true.

High school sucks, but it sucks even more if you weigh almost 300 pounds. Troy is sick of feeling like a loser, to the point of thinking about jumping onto the subway tracks in front of a train. But that's the moment that, Curt, punk-rock guitarist, school stoner and coolness personified in Troy's mind, abruptly barges into Troy's life. He says he wants Troy to play drums in his band, for some reason. Troy is flattered but reluctant, not having played since 7th grade. But, what's up with Curt? Why did he latch onto Troy? What does he want? He's dirty and underfed, and when he gets a chance he raids Troy's medicine cabinet for Nyquil and any other interesting pills he can find. Troy agrees to give drumming a try, and his success gives him some confidence, while concern for Curt breaks him out of his self-pitying downward spiral. As for Curt, he gets some needed parental care and discipline from Troy's ex-marine dad, who makes some changes of his own.The language is gritty and authentic for a story about guys in high school.
—Jackie "the Librarian"

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