Natalie's Reviews > Jelly Belly

Jelly Belly by Robert Kimmel Smith
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Apr 29, 12

Read in April, 2012

I first read this book perhaps 20 years ago. I remember I got it at a Goodwill or one of those thrift stores. To this day it remains one of my favorite kid books. I recently thought about it and decided to pick it up again. I'd read it so many times as a kid, so almost no part of the story was foreign to me, however, I enjoyed it immensely all the same.

It's nice to read the reviews and know I'm not the only one that's now an adult who re-read this book and liked it just as much now as we did back then. I'm not sure what it is about this book that keeps it timeless. Perhaps it's the theme of being overweight and trying to lose weight. Of being an overweight kid that gets picked on. Of being a kid that has parents that want to help, but the kid thinks the parents are being unreasonable. I'm not sure. All I know is that the author wrote a great book.

The reader can really feel for Ned. Even while reading it again after all these years, I sat feeling sorry for poor Ned, who has to sit at the dinner table every evening watching his family eat an awesome-smelling/tasting meal while he has to sit and eat healthy, but unappealing food.

However, crazy as this might sound, one can understand why the author put these important scenes in. It showed a Ned before and then after.

In addition to this, I like how the author writes in a message. Ned talks to his older brother, and they find similarities in their situations. Ned wants to lose weight, his brother wants to run track and cross-country a little better. I know it might sound corny to the cynical, but I liked what the author did. True, the message and lesson probably weren't as subtle to an adult reading the story. I do remember as a kid the whole parallel situation going right over my head.

With that being said, I think as a kid the thing I took away from this book is to never give up. That parents aren't horrible. Anger and getting angry at our loved ones doesn't help. And most of all, if WE, the individual, put our minds to something, positive things can happen. Kids reading this can also feel Ned's struggle and perhaps relate to what he went through. Especially with the war on childhood obesity that is being waged currently.

I've gone on too long, but as one can see, I enjoyed this book. I encourage any parent trying to find good, wholesome and positive books with no violence and kids understanding about right over wrong, etc, to get this book for your child or children.
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Andrew yes i think so to


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