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J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

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Maggie Bean is a top student, a loyal friend, and has a great sense of humor. But the past year's been kind of rough, what with her dad losing his job and her loads of schoolwork. Maggie's learned to cope by eating chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. So much so, that Maggie is dragged by her aunt to weekly Pound Patrollers meetings. No big deal, just utter social devastation. She keeps her mind off PP meetings by "accidentally" running into gorgeous 8th grader Peter Applewood; updating her study spreadsheet--a.k.a, Maggie's Master Multi-Tasker; finding a job for her dad; and secretly practicing for one of the two freshman spots on the synchronized swim team. She's got a long way to go to reach her goals, but when Maggie Bean sets her mind on a goal, nothing--not even a bag of Kit Kats--can stand in her way.

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-8-This thoughtful coming-of-age novel focuses on an overweight seventh grader who compensates for her lack of self-confidence with an abundance of ambition and heart. Maggie Bean has gained more than 30 pounds in the past year-a reaction to the stress caused by her father being laid off-and she is ready to drop those pounds. She attends the Pound Patrollers meetings at her parents' insistence, but her key motivation is her yearning to be a member of the Water Wings, an ultra-exclusive synchronized swim team at her school. Mastering the complicated routines is not what Maggie is stressed about, but rather looking good in the silver two-piece that serves as the team uniform. While her weight issue is crucial to the story, it is not its sole focus. Instead, the author zeroes in on Maggie's journey of self-discovery and her struggle to find her place in the world. Losing weight and seeing what her body can do when pushed is just the self-esteem booster she needs. Maggie realizes that she can do whatever she wants when she puts her mind to it and that she determines how others see her. This empowering novel is perfect for girls trying to overcome any obstacle, weight-related or not.-Robyn Zaneski, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.