Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Cat Ate My Gymsuit” as Want to Read:
The Cat Ate My Gymsuit
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Cat Ate My Gymsuit (Marcy Lewis #1)

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,942 Ratings  ·  270 Reviews
Marcy's life is a mess. Her parents don't understand her, she feels like a fat blimp with no friends, and her favorite teacher just got fired. Ms. Finney wasn't like the other teachers, and she was helping Marcy feel good about being herself.
Now that she's gone, Marcy doesn't know what to do. She's always thought things would be better if she could just lose weight, but th
Paperback, 147 pages
Published March 23rd 2006 by Puffin Books (first published 1974)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Cat Ate My Gymsuit, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Lauren Scanlon I don't know. I have not read the book yet, but I would like to know too.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Historical context is paramount for full enjoyment of this adorably dated book was a fun read. While I think kids might have some trouble with casual references to recreation rooms, records, women's liberation and push button phones. The real issue is Marcy's parents. Without understanding the era in which this story was published (mid-seventies)they come off as a cartoonish villian and victim. The rampant McCarthyism and casual mysogny of Marcy's father as he chomps on a cigar while downing sco ...more
Jan 11, 2012 Speakercoret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aku benci ayahku. Aku benci sekolah. Aku benci tubuh gemukku. Aku benci Kepala Sekolah karena ia ingin memecat Ms.Finney, guru bahasa inggrisku.

Membaca kalimat pertama itu, aku mengira Marcy ini tentu orang yang sering mengeluh, tidak puas dengan apapun, penyendiri dan mungkin pemarah..

Setelah meneruskan membaca terbukti semua yg kukira di awal ternyata banyak yg salah..
Mercy memang penyendiri, tapi dia bukan pemarah, dia pemalu.. Dia malu akan kegemukan tubuhnya, dia malu jika muncul jerawat di
ijul (yuliyono)
-----3,5 star


Nggak nyangka bakal jatuh suka sama buku ini, dan kelar dengan begitu cepatnya pas dibaca. Ngalir banget ceritanya, dan nggak bertele-tele, meskipun ending-nya agak sedikit terlalu mudah. Pengen lebih greget. Tapi, cukup seru (banget) it. Tema-nya pun oke. Asyik-lah pokoke!
Oh Marcy, could I love you more? This book helped me and a lot of other girls accept what we looked like and who we were. I especially like this cover (the one I own) as that is EXACTLY what I imagine Marcy to look like!
Perkenalkan, namaku Marcy Lewis. Aku gemuk dan berjerawat. Canggung dan mudah gugup. Sekolahku mengerikan. Aku tahu teman-teman tertawa di belakangku. Keadaan di rumah lebih buruk. Ayah menganggapku tidak berarti, dan seringkali bertengkar dengan ibu. Singkatnya, aku punya banyak masalah!

Review saya:
Ini buku bagus yang pernah saya baca. Tentang common problem gadis ABG. Yang kehilangan rasa percaya diri gara-gara bertubuh gemuk dan berjerawat. Marcy merasa dia adalah orang dengan masalah paling
Jun 04, 2009 Emily rated it liked it
Shelves: listened-to, kid-lit
(3.5) This was a nice quick "modern classic"-- I don't think I read it as a kid, but I could have. Though a lot of the story holds up now, 30+ years later, a lot of it is dated (Miss vs. Ms., women's liberation issues, smoking "grass", etc.) Girls will still be able to relate to Marcy's weight issues, her mean father, and her clueless mother, however. I'm not sure who I would give this book to-- it is written at a pretty low reading level (4th-5th grade), but features a 13 year old 9th grader wh ...more
Jun 03, 2015 Jaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-5-star-books
This was a decent coming of age novel. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I was actually coming of age, and going through similar experiences. Now, I'm looking at the characters with the benefit of wisdom that comes with age. However, having said that, Danziger created some phenomenal characters that were very relatable. At one point, when Marcy's father was being a worse emotional abuser than normal, I actually called my father and told him I loved him for not being like that. The best pa ...more
Ian Wood
Nov 28, 2014 Ian Wood rated it did not like it
This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's reviews on the blog typically feature two or three images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here.

Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate it three-
Neariah Mandisa
Jan 25, 2013 Neariah Mandisa rated it liked it
The Cat Ate My Gymsuit Delacorte Press, 1974, 119 pp.
Paula Danziger ISBN 0-440-80025-0

Marcy Lewis is a regular teenage girl. She is a character who many others can relate to. She has fears a real life teenage girl might have, about pimples, weight, home life. She is a living a life she feels she has no control over, and after being inspired by her classmates, and her English teacher Ms. Finney, she is doing something about it. The author, Paula Danziger's, message that this book shared was to
Brandi Anderson
Oct 01, 2014 Brandi Anderson rated it liked it
Marcy Lewis is a young student. At first she's shy, hates the way she looks, and refers to herself as the blimp. Everyday she goes to school and she skips gym class and is scared of showing too much blimp (fat). One day things change, she changes. Mrs. Barbra Finney comes as a new English teacher. She brings out the real Marcy. Marcy starts to stick up for herself and later in the book she has to stand up for mrs. Finney.
Nov 01, 2015 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of my staples as a kid, not least because I totally glommed on to a character completely insecure about her body and also having a hard time with a disconnected mother. Yes, it shows that this was written in the 70s--the ideas of a teacher being "Ms." or of a woman having to stay in the home are pretty out-of-date these days--but the main concepts are still incredibly strong. Every kid wants an adult who makes him/her realize that s/he has something to offer. Every kid is going thro ...more
Oct 21, 2015 Brianna rated it liked it
This is through the eyes of an educator first-time reading of, "The Cat Ate My Gymsuit," by Paula Danzigger.

As an educator, I often listened to what books my students particularly liked or disliked. One of my elementary students pulled and highly recommended me reading, "The Cat Ate My Gymsuit," by Paula Danzigger. She read this book on her own with the accompanying playaway (audio follow along). In my personal opinion, and every teacher is different is, I would not personally read this story o
Feb 27, 2015 Maureen rated it really liked it
I read this in a few nights with my 4th grade daughter. Although this book is written for 13 year olds (And was written in 1974!) it was an excellent book to read together. I had read this when I was a teenager myself and have always remembered it. Macy is the 13 year old narrator who starts out with low self esteem but changes througout the book after having an excellent new English teacher, Ms. Finney start in the middle of the year. Ms. Finney treats her students like young people who have th ...more
Julie Decker
Aug 22, 2014 Julie Decker rated it it was ok
Marcy feels frumpy and fat and ugly--especially if she's asked to change into her hideous gym suit--and she's convinced that losing weight will solve her problems. Nobody really understands her or supports her except Ms. Finney; her father is always critical and makes her mother cry, and she feels she has no allies. Ms. Finney has some wonderfully exciting revolutionary ideas, inspiring Marcy to use her voice and speak her mind. And it works! Marcy manages to talk to the boy she likes and find s ...more
Hannah Yang
Jul 03, 2014 Hannah Yang rated it liked it
A girl named Marcy Lewis is the protagonist of this book. She is always negative about things and herself. Her only friend Nancy tries to help her out, but no use. One day, someone absolutely changes her life around.

A club called Smedley is created by a new English teacher Miss Finney, for students to get to know each other and fit in the school life well. There, Marcy makes new friends including a boy called Joel.

From joining Smedley, Marcy slowly begins to turn positive and happy. Everything w
Mar 14, 2014 Leisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
RETRO REREAD #3. I am going back and re-reading books from my adolescence (found in several boxes while moving. Books that is, not my adolescence - that's long gone) and this is the third one I pulled from the shelf (the first was This Time of Darkness by HM Hoover and the second was Anna to the Infinite Power by Mildred Ames), but I just now decided to make it a "thing" and give it a nifty name.

So anyway - the ratings I am giving these books are based on two things: 1) did it hold up well, and
Feb 17, 2011 Rebekah rated it it was ok
I'm really surprised to hear that so many people liked this book - I am at a loss to say anything about it. I can't say that it was really terrible, it was just pointless to me. The characters were a little too basic and contrived - they are either good or evil, with no exploration into their viewpoints, backgrounds, or values. For a book that seems to be promoting understanding other people and accepting new ideas, it felt very one-sided to me.
Ah, yet another classic YA novel from my childhood!

Marcy Lewis hates her life. She hates her body (she’s fat). She hates school, especially her gym class. And she hates her parents: her father is a tyrant straight out of the 1950s, and her mother seeks solace in tranquilizers.

Marcy’s attitude towards school (and everything else) changes with the arrival of Ms. Finney. Ms. Finney is her new, young, hip 9th grade English teacher. She’s big on communication and not just the kind covered in English
Aug 14, 2007 Amy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: youngadult
This book will always have a special place in my heart. I was twelve when I read it and completely identified with the main character and her struggles. I also loved the teacher in the story, who helped inspire me to be a teacher (at least for a little while). I still recommend this book to preteens and teens who feel they just don't fit in.
Marie F
Sep 13, 2015 Marie F rated it liked it
Shelves: kidlets
Too repetitive of an inner voice (which is self-depreciating), and unfortunately seemed to promote acceptance/tolerance of some things that shouldn't be "no big deal" while showing an overly pronounced struggle to accept a few more benign issues. (I guess this is to some degree a product of the societal mindset of its day.) Not the most healthy book, in my opinion... but there are some useful lessons, and it was rather eye opening to my middle school boys that girls could worry this much about b ...more
Oct 27, 2015 Yannelis rated it really liked it
it a good a book
I read this book when I was about fourteen and I remember really liking it, but had lost a lot of the details. The volleyball / dangling participle scene and wishing I could have gotten out of phys.ed. so easily is about the only thing that stuck.

As a adult that was raised in a household that had many of the same dynamics, I was rather blown away at some of the memories that it brought back. And with the clarity of 30 years growth, I see that Marcy's father was terribly abusive and Marcy's poor
Melissa Lee-tammeus
Mar 28, 2014 Melissa Lee-tammeus rated it really liked it
I found this book in an old box with a bunch of other books that defined my early teen years. I sat down and reread it in about an hour. It brought back a ton of memories for me. I believe it still stands the test of time - I'm not sure kids say "neat" anymore or any kid today would understand the horror of getting a phone call from a "friend" during dinner and having to stand in the kitchen while the family listened with the cord wrapped around your arm, but the themes remain consistent, unfort ...more
Apr 20, 2010 Outnumbered09 rated it liked it
Word of advice--If you are reading a book to your kids that you haven't read in a really long time, reread it by yourself first! There were a few kind of heavy topics in this one for my 10 yr old.
Jun 23, 2010 Rory rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: chubby tweens
Shelves: kids
This book meant SO much to me when I was in fifth grade. I actually remember reading it while walking home. I mean, I distinctly remember walking and reading at the same time.
Hillary Mitchell
Jan 17, 2016 Hillary Mitchell rated it did not like it
While I liked the main character, as I identify with her, the rest of the characters come off as complete annoying jerks, especially the father and the principal. The father calls her stupid and comes close to physically abusing her. Unfortunately her mother doesn't to anything about it and would rather let them stay in this bad relationship. The principal is a bully and I feel that in real life he would've been fired. The story was just unpleasant and the main issue that gets the teacher fired ...more
Jan 29, 2015 Hilary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

This turned out to be Paula Danziger's first book, and some of that shows through; there isn't quite as much subtlety in some of the characters, and a little less resolution than she tends to give later.

It's also a little more dated than most, being Vietnam-era, and that may create a gap too much for modern teenagers to easily understand, but Marcy's struggles with self-identity, wanting to please her parents (despite apparently conflicting demands) and the issues surrounding her new, i
Aug 03, 2015 Sara rated it it was ok
I wasn't too crazy about this book. I liked the teacher as being a good role model for the protagonist and I appreciated how Marcy and her mother both gained courage in this book. However, the verbal abuse of Marcy's father was so disturbing for me. I also found it disappointing that it seemed that the majority of adults were written as "bad guys" with a few exceptions. Overall it felt unrealistic to me and like it was emphasizing independence and standing up for yourself so much that it overloo ...more
Dec 30, 2013 Laszlo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Remember, everyone, three stars is a 'liked it'. I did like it, but it wasn't the best thing I've ever read.

Marcy is an overweight high school, and calls herself and other overweight people "blimps" (not to their faces, but in her mind, of course). She is in love with Joel, a normal sized, somewhat handsome intellectual. She dislikes her home life, with a mother deciding when she (the mother) uses tranquilizers on herself to calm herself down, and over-controlling and judgmental father. But, the
Tiye. G
Nov 10, 2014 Tiye. G rated it liked it
The book the cat ate my gym suit, by Paula danzinger is a book about being true to yourself, and staying true to what you believe in. Main character Marcy Lewis hates being fat, going to school, and her father, until she meets an English teacher name Ms. Finney. That teaches English in a different way and actually treats kids with respect, Marcy feels she has found a teacher that shes her more than just another kid. but when Ms. Finney is suspended, Marcy starts to feel like she should take a st ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
marcy's problem 2 14 Mar 31, 2015 01:33PM  
What's The Name o...: YA about overweight girl [s] 5 33 Dec 13, 2013 07:04PM  
  • Then Again, Maybe I Won't
  • Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack!
  • Nothing's Fair in Fifth Grade
  • Roommates (The Girls of Canby Hall, #1)
  • Dear Lovey Hart, I Am Desperate
  • My Darling, My Hamburger
  • Anastasia Krupnik (Anastasia Krupnik, #1)
  • Fifteen  (First Love, #1)
  • Love Is One of the Choices
  • To Take A Dare
  • Taking Terri Mueller
  • The Pinballs
  • Laura's Luck
Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in New York, Paula Danziger knew since the second grade that she wanted to be a writer. Throughout her career, she wrote a collection of children's stories, including The Cat Ate my Gymsuit, The Divorce Express and, more recently, the Amber Brown series.
Danziger loved to travel and meet young kids all over the world. She was embraced by her audience for her abil
More about Paula Danziger...

Other Books in the Series

Marcy Lewis (2 books)
  • There's a Bat in Bunk Five (Marcy Lewis, #2)

Share This Book