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Fat Chance

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  494 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Judi Liebowitz thinks she's fat. And she's convinced, as she confides in her diary, that she'd be happier if she were skinnier. So when Judi becomes friendly with pencil-thin, glamorous Nancy Pratt, she learns Nancy's secret and joins her in the secret binge-and-purge cycles of bulimia. Before long, Judi's life spins out of control and her obsession with food, calories, an ...more
Hardcover, 214 pages
Published August 8th 1996 by Turtleback Books (first published 1994)
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Sally Kruger
Although published in 1994, FAT CHANCE by Leslea Newman still rings true today, in fact, with the increased prevalence of eating disorders, its message may be even more important today.

As an eighth grader, Judi dreams of having a boyfriend and going on exciting dates, but she is convinced that can only happen if she loses weight. Her mother insists she is a "growing girl" who needs to eat three nutritious meals a day. Judi is sure that isn't the path to happiness. It doesn't help that Judi's cla
You guys, I always understood that Judi was not actually overweight (she hovers around 127 lbs for the entirety of the book, at 5'4"), but at the time of rereading this, we weigh exactly the same and I am four inches shorter than Judi. Yeah, I still have some baby weight and whatnot, but I still think I'm looking aight. That just kind of blew my mind a little bit and made me realize how hard Judi was on herself.

Original review, November 2007:
So maybe other people wouldn't give this five stars,
I rarely give books five stars. Not only does it have to be flawless, but it generally has to accomplish something absolutely marvelous. But this book got the rare five stars. Though it is an ordinary, enjoyable read, I gave it the rating it did because of how well the author captures the confusion of middle school. Some of Judi's thoughts were exactly my own when I read it. I was in eighth grade, just like Judi. Though the writing is excellent, this book is no Steinbeck. It will win no Pulitzer ...more
Come morire per la bellezza e salvarsi accettandosi

Libro semplice e diretto, che racconta con semplicità il dramma adolescenziale del confronto con un aspetto fisico che non piace. La protagonista non sopporta i suoi chili di troppo e decide di provvedere, aiutata dal cattivo esempio: la più bella della scuola, la ragazza invidiata, col ragazzo fantastico... la ragazza con uno scheletro nell'armadio più grande di lei, fatto di digiuni e corse in bagno quando mangia, fino a finire in ospedale, an
I read this book in the 8th grade. The book really open my eyes and how I learn what was a eating disorder. I re-read the book again. As an educator, I would definitely show this to my students and tell them they are beautiful they way look and never change for anybody. Eating Disorders is an important discussion to talk about to students. I would know because I was feeling terrible the way looked in the mirror but I realized I am perfect the way I am. I highly recommended to read this book and ...more
What a waste of time. Boring and preachy.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book was decent in many respects. I know that it is meant for children or teenagers, but there were many aspects I feel were left out in order to scare girls away from eating disorders. I know that many in the throws of an eating disorder can be selfish, and seen as very immature, and that was very clear with antagonist of miss Pratt. I wish they would have had an afterward, showing that her actions were a manifestation of the disorder, and not just a personality of a girl that just also ha ...more
In a witty, engaging style, & drawing on self-experince, Newman has written an in-depth portrait of a teen-ager's struggle with weight, popularity, & the choices one deals with at that age.
An excellent read full of delicious puns..
I thought the book was way too... I don't know, naive? Judi was so two dimensional. I couldn't connect with her and often found her very annoying. And every time she said "fat chance" I wanted to punch her in the mouth. It was very unrealistic. Even in the 90's, 8th graders are more mature than her. She's like that one kid that hasn't quite grown up yet and still sleeps with a nightlight on, after being tucked in by Mommy. All in all, it was a waste of time, and will be for anyone else who wants ...more
This is one of my favorite books! I think I've read this book at least three times! Maybe even more! ;)
What I really loved about this book is that its written as a journal. I love that so much when books are written like that.
Fat chance is a compelling story written as a diary, of what a adolescent girl with low self esteem and an eating disorder goes through. Leslea Newman does a wonderful job of informing all readers of what really goes on in the lifes of girls with eating disorders, not only
Ms. B
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This really delves into what every girl thinks about at least once in her life. Am I fat? Judi is in highschool and is trying to start the year off well. She knows she's not the smallest girl in the bunch but she also knows she can't change it overnight. Or can she? Judi walks into the bathroom at school one day, to here someone throwing up in the stalls, but when she asks if she's okay the girl acts as if Judi should never had been there at all. What exactly WAS the girl doing in there, and fur ...more
Amanda (LoveofJoe11)
I can't remember exactly when I read this book, but I remember absolutely loving it. I read it as I was struggling to admit I had an eating disorder and completely related with the main character. I remember crying for the character and crying for me.

I'm not going to lie, I don't remember the quality of the writing or character develop, but over ten years after I read it I remember it's impact on me, so I think that says something.
Well right now i think the book is about 4 stars i really like it so far i hope it turns out amazing. Well im nearing the end and it is amazing! It is a realistic fiction book and it is good. It actually is not boring. If you need a realistic fiction i would say to read this one. You might think it would be a little wierd, but it isn't. If you start reading you want to read it to the very end. If you need a short book this is your book.
Olive Skies
May 28, 2015 Olive Skies rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Olive by: School librarian
This is one of the first eating disorder themed books I read. I remember asking the librarian in my middle school - I was in 7th grade at the time - if she had any books on the subject and she was stunned that I had asked. This was the only one they had and I read it in about three days. At twelve, this had been a very good read for me. It got the point across and I connected with the character.
I personally really liked Fat Chance.
The book is really easy to read and the story makes you want to continue reading!
When I read that book, I told everyone about it and the school librarian told a lot of kids came asking for it.
I recommend this book to everyone because I think it explains you pretty well how certain kids feel at this point of their life.
Brianon Sheffield
deftly handles scary and important topics like eating disorders, fitting in, family dynamics, and growing up. this book helped me realize that starvation and/or binges are not glamorous, and definitely not the answer to loving myself. this fictional diary makes the mistakes for us, so that we will know not to.
Stephanie A.
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Miharu Rokujou
my sis read this several years ago and told me i should read it, so about a year and a half ago i actually got around to it and it was pretty much the stupidest thing i ever read. i would def rather read this than Wasted though, that book is a million times worse than this one.
this was published in 1994; heavy-handed problem novel written in diary style; too much Adult creeping in to control the morality/lesson -- and the refrain of "fat chance!" is cringe-inducing. still the mother-daughter lovefest at the end brought tears - blargh.
I read this book when I was young and sans eating disorder. Then I was older(but still young) and with an eating disorder. I can't remember how much I liked it after developing an eating disorder, but when I read it over and over again when I was younger.
Andrea Holladay-Bachman
Since starting to read YA books, I never realized how many stories there are about bulimic girls. It's almost like a porn movie, you've seen one, you've seen them all. BUT, I like the dairy format and first person perspective of the book.
A fairly average young adult novel written in the style of an 8th grader's diary. Judi is worried about her weight and wants to do anything to be skinny. It was a quick read, but I didn't find it as amazing as my friend did who leant it to me.
I remember this book really well, eventhough I read it a long time ago. It's about a girl who thinks she could be skinnier and she tries to throw up her food after she eats it because the popular girl does this, but it brought consequences.
Caroline Newhouse
I read this book when I was in the 6th grade. Its about a girl who struggles with her weight and her actions during this struggle. This book was great for me as I struggled with my weight during a pivotal time of my adolescence.
Fat Chance, by Leslea Newman, is a story of two high school girls with differing social problems and weight issues. Neither being overweight, nor staying thin through binge and purge, is a desireable state.
A decent account of how eating disorders can develop. The narrator's voice is pretty accurate and she's likeable. Trite at times, this would be a good book for younger readers (4-7 grade-ish). Not triggery.
Shanedra Smith
Really this book was very sad.. and when I told my mom about it she told me it was a demon and to bring it back to the library!..haha but of course... I hid it and finished reading it!
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Lesléa Newman (born 1955, Brooklyn, NY) is the author of over 50 books including Heather Has Two Mommies, A Letter To Harvey Milk, Writing From The Heart, In Every Laugh a Tear, The Femme Mystique, Still Life with Buddy, Fat Chance and Out of the Closet and Nothing to Wear.
She has received many literary awards including Poetry Fellowships from the Massachusetts Artists Fellowship Foundation and th
More about Lesléa Newman...
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