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Fat Boy Swim

3.42  ·  Rating Details ·  309 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Fourteen-year-old Jimmy Kelly is Fat Boy Fat, the largest kid in his Scottish community, who’s made to feel useless at everything. Only his family knows he’s a whiz in the kitchen, and Jimmy is determined to keep it that way.
So when GI Joe, the toughest coach at school, finds out his secret, Jimmy is sure he’s doomed. But Coach proposes a deal: If Jimmy helps him, Coach wi
Mass Market Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 14th 2006 by Laurel Leaf (first published January 1st 2003)
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Jun 12, 2013 Vanessa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a lovely little novel.

I read this because I'm teaching it to my S1 class, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I'm a bit old for most books aimed at kids, but this one was a treat. I felt myself getting extremely emotionally involved in Jimmy Kelly's troubles - even had moments reading it on the bus where my eyes were welling up for him!

The characterisation is very good in this, and the progression of not only Jimmy's character but the character of his main bully Victor was very we
Sarah Calderwood
Jan 31, 2014 Sarah Calderwood rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My daughter was reading this for High School (2nd year) English so thought i would give it a go. Great story, loveable characters and brilliant writing :)
Feb 05, 2014 Emily rated it really liked it
Shelves: school
Story was great, characters were loveable and it was just a generally well-written story Fat Boy Swim xx
Jul 06, 2013 Ophelia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel still remains a favorite. I loved the fact that it was set in Scotland, and the fact that it has a Bruce Willis lookalike in it, and it also makes me want to go swimming and see what kind of a difference I can make in my own life. Could I relate? I hear you ask. Of course I could, despite the facts that I'm not a boy and one that is still in school. I think anyone could, regardless of whether they have been bullied or not. School was difficult for most people, and this novel really di ...more
Feb 04, 2016 Salsabrarian rated it really liked it
Jimmy Kelly's transformation from slovenly, miserable fat kid to talented and confident swimmer is a heartening journey for readers.

*SPOILER* Fourteen-year-old Jimmy Kelly is slovenly and fat. He is
teased and bullied constantly at school, not only by classmates but his PE teacher as well. His refuge from the cruelty is, ironically, gourmet cooking. Jimmy knows how to cook and he enjoys creating meals and "tablet" (a type of candy) for his Mum and Aunt Pol. Father "GI Joe" learns Jimmy's secret a
Calvin Foun
May 20, 2015 Calvin Foun rated it liked it
I thought it was an okay book. There wasn't much that was going on in the story but there was a lot of psychological change in jimmy. I didn't like that there were so many plot changes at the end of the story and then the book just ended. It would have been a little better if the book was a little longer.
Roberta Dellabora
Oct 13, 2015 Roberta Dellabora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
La recensione completa QUI

Jimmy non potrebbe avere una vita peggiore. E' terribilmente in sovrappeso e costantemente schernito dai compagni di scuola e di calcetto. Le sue cose non sono le uniche ad essere distrutte, ma anche la sua dignità.
Fat Boy Swim è uno di quei libri dove la morale diventa importantissima e si rivolge sopratutto ad un pubblico giovane che ha ancora a che fare con la vita scolastica. Il bullismo viene affrontato come tema preponderante, ma la scorrevole e diretta narrazion
Apr 19, 2013 Hi rated it did not like it
i hated this book i think it was soap opera




K. Carters
Mar 08, 2014 K. Carters rated it liked it
I like this book. It took a bit of getting in to and the Glaswegian slang not helpful (sook and pluke for example) but the story is sweet enough and it's got a feelgood vibe to the piece. For a teacher it's got a lot of free resources for KS3 and so a nice little book to have. I wasn't too keen on the language (as stated) and felt the swimming meet was a little contrived, a bit too Rocky-esque when he didn't really have to win for the story to be successful.
There was something about the blurb of this that reminded me vividly of reading Tim Bowler’s Midget, which I loved as a kid, so I couldn’t help but pick this YA novel up as a reprieve from the textbooks. It also, when I flicked through reviews, promised a happy ending. The first two chapters felt a little unwieldy, Forde’s style unfamiliar, however her rhythm is quickly picked up – especially read aloud.

Not being the target audience, I did guess the big family secret fairly early in the book; ho
Tina Freeth
Nov 08, 2015 Tina Freeth rated it really liked it
A witty book for teenagers. It is about a 'fat' boy who gets bullied in school but who is an amazing cook. He teams up with a coach who agrees he will help him lose weight if he cooks for the charity event. There is a big reveal in the book about the main character's mother. I thought it was witty and funny.
Jenna Durbin
Apr 29, 2015 Jenna Durbin rated it it was amazing
The book was very enjoyable with both humour and thoughtfulness.It made me think about how we are all people inside no matter what we look like.
Jan 18, 2009 Sandra rated it liked it
Jimmy is a teenage boy who is overweight has no friends and gets picked on all the time. The one thing Jimmy does to escape into his own world is to cook and dream of being a chef. Jimmy can't tell anyone about his secret world of cooking because he would get picked on even more.Jimmy also wants to learn how to swim so with all his determination he takes on the challange.
Author Cathrine Forde takes the reader through the thoughts and feelings of an overweight teenage boy. I really enjoyed this b
Jun 04, 2008 Andrew rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: fat people
Recommended to Andrew by: jake schaeffer
This book is about a fat boy named Jimmy. He plays soccer, but everyone makes fun of him because he is fat. He is also a really good cook. One day his soccer coach, who also turns out to be his preacher, starts conditioing him so he can lose some of his fat. One day Jimmy deciedes he wants to be a swimmer. As he starts to get better at swimming, he meets a girl he likes who is a nerd, he loses weight, and is allowed to compete in a huge swim meet against his rival/meanest kid he knows. This was ...more
Dec 11, 2011 Den rated it liked it
Shelves: teen, 2011, sen-behaviour
A really good teen book which covers the theme of bullying very well. Jimmy is an overweight teenager who is picked on by everyone at school including some of the teachers and has no friends so daily life at school is so hard.But he is a very good cook but unless he wants to be picked on even more, he has to keep it secret. He also wants to learn to swim so takes on the challenge and finds he is also very good at that. Putting effort into his swimming begins to make him fitter and begin to reali ...more
May 19, 2015 Petesa marked it as to-read
i think that this is really cool lol
Casey Nield
Sep 16, 2015 Casey Nield rated it it was ok
i think it was good
Apr 10, 2010 Libby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fat Boy Swim was OK...
Jimmy Kelly, the protaganist, is fat. And he is an amazing cook, although he keeps his cooking skill a secret. After bullying, bullying, bullying, Jimmy begins to get fitter, bascically.
It was an interesting book and I think it showed me that size doesn't matter, as long as you are healthy. Also that people hate it if you stare at them in the pool xP
However I found all the family problems a little dramatic, turning what could have a been a four star book into a soap opera.
Jul 10, 2014 Thalia rated it really liked it
Este es otro libro que me ayudo en tiempos dificiles... lo aprecio mucho :')
Paul Blakemore
Jul 13, 2013 Paul Blakemore rated it it was ok
I read this with a class and, whilst they seemed to enjoy it, I won't be picking it again. A lot of the sentences were surprisingly difficult to translate into reading out loud - perhaps it was to do with the rhythm of a Scottish dialect? It certainly has some pretty inaccessible Scottish slang in it. Considering I was learning to swim myself whilst reading this, I found it quite hard to connect with it.
Oct 08, 2010 Matphew rated it it was ok
An interesting book about a fat kid who gets bullied and comes back as a really good swimmer. It kind of makes me feel annoyed that he never actually tried to changed by himself but needed help from another person. The main character though, works hard and does change, thus not getting bullied anymore. A good book with a bit of humor
May 27, 2013 Emma rated it liked it
I read this book for a school project. The story felt a bit rushed and slightly confusing due to A LOT of scottish slang. Though it had good humour it felt a bit out dated like Marilyn Monroe. There is lots of conflict and problems but not all of them are solved. I'd rate this book for peoples are 10 to 15.
Shadowm2k7 Aros Rats
The author is great when it comes to first person. The kid in it describes everything as if it's food. Which is kinda humerus y'know ? The story line is..okayyy The words in it are great. I had to read it for an English paper I had to do but that's besides the point..
Dec 30, 2015 Andy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read: well written story with a strong Scottish voice that touches on plenty of teenage issues such as body image and bullying, believing in yourself, maximising your talents, mentoring, family, relationships, teenage pregnancy...
Jul 18, 2011 Andrew rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Picked this up as a Playaway (MP3 player). Listened to the first few chapters, but kind of felt the blurb had spoilt it for me: I felt I knew already what was going to happen, so I couldn't be bothered to listen to any more.
Resna-reaper of all reapers
I thuoght it was fascinating to find out stuff abt his father and his families past that they all hide from him because they wann aprotect him but does it cause more harm then telling the truth
Apr 01, 2008 Sandy rated it liked it
Jimmy is fat, and he's an excellent cook, but he plans on keeping that a secret. Until the coach finds out his secret. And then starts him swimming. And Jimmy finds out he loves to swim.
Dominic R. Buttery
Dec 21, 2014 Dominic R. Buttery rated it it was ok
A good attempt at emitting the societal problems occurring within teenage corpulence; nothing much else achieved in this novel.
Mar 23, 2015 Carmen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book had a nice twist. This is something different from the young adults section than what's popular at the moment.
Oct 22, 2013 Eddie rated it liked it
Very good book about a boy who struggles with his weight and takes up swimming to get fit.
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Catherine Forde is the author of numerous books, including Fat Boy Swim, which won the Grampian Children’s Book Award and was short-listed for the Blue Peter Award; Firestarter; and Skarrs, which was long-listed for the Carnegie Medal.
More about Catherine Forde...

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