Kim's Reviews > Losing It

Losing It by Erin Fry
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Nov 22, 12

bookshelves: contemporary-fiction, fiction, nonfiction-childrens, sports-fiction, young-adult-fiction, reviewed-for-slj
Read from August 18 to 29, 2012

From November 2012 SLJ:
Gr 5-8:�Since his mom died when he was five, Bennett and his dad have been enough for each other. Their favorite pastime is cheering on the Dodgers in front of the TV with burgers and fries close at hand. Then his father has a stroke, and Bennett goes to live with relatives. At first he resents Aunt Laura's controlling nature as she cuts fast food from his diet and encourages him not so subtly to lead a healthier lifestyle. But seeing his dad in a coma has shaken him. Uncle Jim suggests they start walking together, and soon Bennett is jogging. His interest is sparked when he sees cross-country team flyers at school, and he apprehensively attends the first meeting of the season. As he gets involved in the sport, he has moments of sheer misery when he wants to quit, but the dawning realization that he is improving enables him to stand up to being harassed and to better help his father through a slow recovery. Even when his best friend, also overweight, tries to discourage him from his new interests, Bennett perseveres. While this story tackles serious topics, it is not heavy-handed: Bennett is engaging, and readers will recognize many of the challenges that he faces. The way that he matures as he juggles visits to his convalescing father with his other commitments and learns to appreciate his extended family is believable and inspiring. Fry has a great ear for middle school dialogue, and her light, humorous touch will ensure that readers keep turning the pages until the uplifting conclusion.
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