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Big Girl Small

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  2,496 Ratings  ·  416 Reviews
Judy Lohden is your above-average sixteen-year-old: sarcastic and vulnerable, talented and uncertain, full of big dreams for a big future. With a singing voice that can shake an auditorium, she should be the star of Darcy Academy, the local performing-arts high school. So why is a girl this promising hiding out in a seedy motel room? The fact that the national media is on ...more
Audio, 8 pages
Published June 1st 2011 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published January 1st 2011)
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May 22, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 28, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Nice idea but my motivation for reading was basically to see what the scandal was. After the big reveal, the novel devolved into a chronology of events - this happened, then this happened, then we did this and this and this - and it became so obvious that the author hadn't thought this through. Also I'm tired of these sarcastic teenage narrators. I feel like every time a first person narrator is slightly out of the ordinary, they have to make up for it with quips and sarcasm. It gets old, especi ...more
Jul 04, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Really 1.5 stars.

At times, the writing was so bad, I wondered how this could've gotten published without some serious revision. I get that the author was going for a conversational tone, as in Catcher, but close reading of Holden's angsty words reveal so much depth that I can teach that book over and over and learn something new every time.

Judy is no Holden. Her voice is interesting at first but then becomes repetitive. How many times do we have to hear that she considers herself "hot" and "cute
Jun 04, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I pretty much hated this book. Judy is a 16-year-old little person transitioning to a private arts high school. She's smart and talented, and she says she confident, so why does she make such tragically awful choices?

Aside from not liking Judy AT ALL, I really hate books that feel obligated to describe what someone is wearing when it really makes no difference whatsoever. "I was wearing red tights, a denim skirt and a soft sweater." Who cares? Is Judy really into what she wears because she's a
Apr 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chic-lit, fast-read
As a mother of a 17 year old daughter, I thoroughly enjoyed the protagonist voice of 16 year old Judy Lohden. Rachel DeWoskin captures the crazy way the teen brain functions. Judy is a 16 year girl who just transferred to a performing arts private school. She wants to fit in desperately. She’s a good kid, well-meaning, and very talented….and happens to be a person of little stature aka a dwarf. DeWoskin uses the dwarf angel to make the story a bit edgey, and she doesn’t use it to make her main c ...more
Jan 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At one point in Big Girl Small, protagonist Judy wonders whether it is worse to have someone love you because you are different or if it is worse to have someone love you in spite of that.

I think that summarizes Judy's central struggle throughout the book. As a sixteen-year-old dwarf, Judy gets treated differently by others because of who she is. While she's generally a smart and well-adjusted young woman, Judy naturally at times longs for lanky limbs and a normal life. She wants to be seen as
Elaine Oliveira
Oct 29, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lc
I didn't like it at all. The idea was great, the development not so much.

In terms of narrative tone, it's like reading "Catcher in the Rye" all over again - which is a pain for anyone past their teenage-angst years. The main character, Judy, complains too much, believes in an nonexistant self-importance and hates the world for what she is.

There's no plot, per se. It's like 'listening' to a teenanger talking 100mph non-stop about bits and pieces. When you think she's getting to the end of somethi
T. Greenwood
May 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The premise of this novel is what most intrigued me: a sixteen year old dwarf involved in a high school scandal. But it was the voice of the narrator that captivated me. I really loved Judy; her self-awareness was both refreshing and heart-breaking. The plot was handled deftly, and the suspense of both what happened and what would happen as a result kept me turning the pages. My only complaint, and I'm not even sure it's a complaint at all, is that it felt geared toward a YA audience. I think I' ...more
Mar 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has been on my to read list since I heard the review on NPR last summer. When you begin Rachel DeWoskin’s “Big Girl Small”, know that the narrator, Judy Lohden, is hiding out in a rent-by-week motel, that she is a high school student, that some of her classmates have done something awful to her and that she is a dwarf. This smart, extremely well written story is not a freak show, but rather a story about real friends, loving families, messed up kids and tragedies that can and do happen ...more
Dec 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If what you are looking for is a book that sets you right down in the midst of high school angst, this book is for you. DeWoskin does a good job of that. My negatives: that is the last place on earth I'd like to return to. Also 300 pages inside the head of a 16 year old girl is, like, tiresome. Also, I had a hard time believing her parent's response in the end.
Jolieg G
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wilde op een gegeven moment het boek wegleggen.. het boeide me totaal niet...
Toch doorgelezen en ben daar blij om. Vind het trouwens geen kinderboek... meer een boek voor jonge meisjes.
Blijkt ook wel uit de 4 sterren.
Hope Baugh
Mar 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
2012 Alex winner. (The Alex award is given to up to 10 books annually that were published for adults but which also have potential teen appeal.)

Judy is a dwarf (or little person or person of short stature, NOT a "midget.") She is a good writer and has a knock-out singing voice, so she was accepted to the elite performance arts high school in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her average-sized parents, who run a local restaurant, and her average-sized brothers love her very much. She also has several good fri
Kate Z
May 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: book clubs
(this book is really more like 3 1/2 stars for me)

I selected this book for Challenge #1 in the group "You'll Love This One ... A Book Club and More ..." The challenge was to choose a book entirely by its cover. This book came across my NPR newsfeed and the cover immediately jumped out at me. It reminded me of the (original) Wally Lamb book "She's Come Undone" She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb. It also reminded me of the book Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok. Apparently I have a "thing" for blue covers.

I selected the book and committed to it for the challeng
Jul 02, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book tells the story of a girl named Judy who is a Little Person attending a performing arts high school. She does pretty well fitting in with everyone until a humiliating scandal leads her to run away to a hotel from where she is telling her story. I had high hopes for this book after hearing a good review on NPR, but a lot of things fell flat for me. First, the scandal was very predictable. I think I guessed on page one what was going to happen to Judy, so it didn't even feel shocking whe ...more
Mar 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am giving it 5 stars because it made me laugh out loud immediately and it made me think on every page. I don't know if everyone will like this book, though, so I have reservations about recommending it. It covers a very small window of time: the period of high school when you are completely wrapped up in your every emotion. I think she does an amazing, exacting job of describing the feelings that go along with being a 16 year old girl. And she does a perfect job of describing teen boys through ...more
Jul 20, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this as an audiobook. I loved the first half - Judy had a unique voice, sarcastic yet thoughtful, that put a spin on the usual high school perspective. But in the second half the plot got in the way of the character development and writing style, which I think were the best parts of the book. I would have enjoyed this more if it was a less dramatic story with more exploration of Judy's normal life, rather than the scandal that engulfed her.


I also found it really frustr
Sep 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love that the idea for this book is first appears as the insane ramblings of an unstable character in another of DeWoskin's books. The concept is entirely absurd, but rendered with such sensitivity, humor and believably that I just wanted to step into the novel and give the main character a hug.

I also really appreciated that, while there was an over-arching mystery (what's the scandal?!) to the story, it wasn't so oppressive that everything leading up to its reveal is an annoyance that you jus
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This multi-faceted book is hard to sum up in a few sentences. At its core, it is a book about an extremely talented teen, different from her peers in that she is a dwarf, who makes a few critical bad choices and ends up at the top of the news. But the book is so much more. The author completely captures Judy's teenage voice. Although I haven't been a teen in many years, and my inner voice has changed from teen to mom, as I read Judy's inner dialogue, I was surprised at how true it rang. DeWoskin ...more
May 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just wrote a long review and lost it so I will only say that I really enjoyed this book but I think it will be a love it or hate it book for many. It reads something like Cather in the Rye with the self absorbed 16 year old girl perspective, but I really enjoyed the character and her views on her world.

"True love is not a one time event" I would have hated hearing that as a teenager, but I think Judy learns that the feelings you have and the actions you take for "love" don't have to be dimini
Nora Elkady
Aug 19, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm tired of reading books of sassy, sarcastic (almost rude), teen age girls as the protagonist. There was nothing special or new about this book along with most other books about high school. The main character herself was uninteresting and unlikable throughout the whole book, she always spoke so highly of herself about how "hot" or "cute" she was even though she was short, or how she had the greatest voice ever, or how she got the best grades and all the teachers loved her. Quite honestly if I ...more
P1/2 Lauren
Big Girl Small is a novel that is both touching and a bit repetitive. But overll the book is a really good and quick read to enjoy.

In most partss of the novel I felt as if the main character didnt feel sympathetic towards herself more than scared, lonely, or shy towards others. I liked this book because even when you are different aside from everyone else you can still be yourself. Rachel is a small girl that was born with dworfism. She doesnt have many friends except for the ones that everyone
Mrs. Nelson's
May 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Judy has always stood out: she's got a gorgeous voice, serious acting chops, and a less-than-average height; Judy is a little person. She's always been reasonably comfortable with herself - her parents raised her to be confident. So Judy doesn't think high school - at a prestigious performing arts school - will be too difficult. But things go horribly - and publicly - wrong in a way she could never have imagined when some students take advantage of her naiveté and vulnerability. Judy is defeated ...more
This has a great narrative voice, and some really witty clever passages. That said, the flashback-y frame narrative did not work all that well for me. Also, at the point where the book should be building to a climax, we basically retreat.... into Judy's head. For pages and pages. That really broke the momentum for me, and I just didn't want to bother sitting through what amounted to a lot of obsessive self-pity. The ending felt strained as well. Too bad the way it began wasn't sustainable.
I found that the whole book was just one long prologue. It talked too much about Judy's past and not enough about what was currently going on. I felt it was a book on just teenage drama, and I get enough of that! The only thing that makes this book unique, is that the protagonist was a "Little Person". Otherwise, It was just a book on re-living the shitty parts of High School. I gave it 2 stars because it was a little interesting, until it just dragged on. I also found that her being a "Little P ...more
Jul 30, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I truly cannot resist books about high school. Even if their writing is nothing special (as here) I get so sucked into teenage girls' high school drama. Nostalgia perhaps? This one has the added interest of a protagonist who's a dwarf/little person. It's a good metaphor for the alienation/out-of-place-ness that so many high schoolers feel. Good, juicy coming of age stuff.
Feb 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aa-12-reqrec
Currently blowing me away.
Very disappointing but not bad if people want a perspective touchy feely book
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book a few summers ago and I loved it. It received a 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. I read some other reviews of this book and I saw some pretty low ratings. This shocked me because I loved this book and I gave it 5 stars. The book was about a girl named Judy, who was a dwarf and was attending a specials arts high school. Judy, had a talent of singing, she was pretty much a prodigy at it. She is going to this new school and did I mention that she is a dwarf, so eyes were definitely on her ...more
Rose Henke
Oct 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The book Big Girl Small by Rachel DeWoskin, is an interesting, must-read realistic fiction story about a teenage girl who is trying to fit in with society. However, it’s not too easy for her because she is only about 4 feet tall. Judy Lohden is a sixteen year old girl who lives with her dad, mom, and younger brother Sam. They live in Ann Arbor Michigan, where her parents own a restaurant called The Grill. Judy is a smart and interesting girl who has a great voice for singing. This is one of the

Oct 24, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Judy ist kleinwüchsig, doch sie hat sich damit abgefunden und lebt ihr Leben nun so gut es ihr möglich ist. Sie wagt sogar den großen Schritt, an eine Privatschule mit dem Schwerpunkt Kunst, Schauspiel und Gesang zu wechseln. Zu Beginn läuft alles super: Sie findet schnell eine beste Freundin, sie wird von den Lehrern gemocht und auch mit den neugierigen Blicken ihrer neuen Mitschüler kommt sie gut zurecht. Dann lernt sie Kyle kennen und verliebt sich sofort in ihn. Als er sie tatsächlich
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Wild Things: YA G...: Big Girl Small by Rachel DeWoskin 1 11 Jan 22, 2013 09:23PM  
A teen book? 5 21 Jan 11, 2012 06:15AM  
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Rachel DeWoskin is the author of Foreign Babes in Beijing, a memoir about her inadvertent notoriety as the star of a Chinese soap opera, and a novel, Repeat After Me. She lives in New York City and Beijing and is at work on her fourth book, Statutory.
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“I mean, we have to read books or we'll make mistakes. If we read stories of how other people lived, we can figure out better ways to live. I mean we can look at other people's lives and not make the same mistakes they made. Or we can, like, use their examples as models for ourselves.” 8 likes
“That's the thing about me. I prefer things once they're already over and I'm working on understanding them. I wish I were faster at that - like, I could understand things while they're happening - but I always have to read the whole book and write the entire paper before I even know what the hell I'm thinking.” 5 likes
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