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Jemima Small Versus the Universe

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  558 ratings  ·  94 reviews
Jemima Small just wants to be like other girls. She hates being called "Jemima Big", being forced to join the school health group - aka Fat Club - and that she can't apply for her favourite TV show without worrying everyone will laugh. But she also knows that the biggest stars in the universe are the brightest. So maybe it's her time to shine.

A brilliantly funny and touch
Paperback, 384 pages
Published July 11th 2019 by Usborne Publishing Ltd
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Average rating 4.32  · 
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 ·  558 ratings  ·  94 reviews

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Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I wish I had had Jemima around when I was a young teen. It's a book that I could have really done with then, yet never seemed to find.

Karen Barber
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jemima Small is a big character. She has so much going for her - kind, loyal, knowledgeable - but in her mind these count for little. This is because Jemima is overweight. For years she has had peers ridicule her, mock her size and basically try to destroy her confidence.
When we first meet Jemima it’s hard not to feel sympathy for her. Whatever your view on the best way to support children with health issues, nobody should have to put up with the comments she experiences. When Jemima and some of
Samantha Paterson (Magic.between.pages_za)
Again, an absolutely brilliant book by Tamslin Winter. Her ability to take on hard topics like bullying and body shaming is amazing. This was a heartfelt and heartbreaking story of a young girl who is bullied for being bigger than everyone else. Her self consciousness of how "abnormal " she is is so sad. But her story of bravery and finding self-love is inspiring. ...more
Becky (Blogs of a Bookaholic)
This was such a wonderful heartwarming book about body positivity and self-esteem!
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Want to see more...


When you look past the cute cover, you actually find an exciting read!!!
I love books about big characters, not only does it break down the barrier of every single female looking like they came out of a pink box with ‘Barbie’ written on it but it should also show young girls that it is completely fine to be curvy and still be fantastic! And what I also love is that these cury characters are not on the scale of morbidly obese as well, which isn’t something to
Shruti Ramanujam
Oct 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Trigger warnings: Fatphobia, bullying

This is probably the most I’ve been triggered by a book. I went in expecting a wholesome middle grade novel about developing body confidence and resilience, which I did get. But it also gets super, super fatphobic real fast.

That’s a trap books with fat MCs usually fall under and I do get it. But some of us read MG to escape. And this book, sadly, did not feel escapist at all to me.

I’m still giving it three stars because it does discuss very important theme
Pavitra (For The Love of Fictional Worlds)

Actual Rating 4.5 Stars

Disclaimer: A physical copy was provided via Usborne YA in exchnage for an honest review. The Thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are therefore, my own.

If you have ever struggled to understand, just like yours truly, why people tend to overlook all that what makes you who you are; a exceptional brilliant human being; and ends up taunting you and nitpicking those few insecurities you have – then Jemima Small vs The Universe is a book that you NEED to
Oct 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2019
It's not the usual choice of a book for me. I tend to ignore books for teens just because I immediately think of something like the Twilight saga (ok, I liked it as a teen but tried to reread about 6 years ago and I recall the great suffering). But I wanted something easy and it was displayed in the lib. I read the synopsis and decided to give it a go. Issues regarding body image and confidence in yourself are the topics I can deeply relate so I wanted to find out how this is addressed in YA lit ...more
Oriana Blyth (_head_in_a_book)
All I can say is WOW!!!!! This book was absolutely brilliant!!!!!! As someone who was horrendously bullied during my time at school I found this book completely relatable but heartbreaking at the same time.
I couldn’t believe how cruel some of the characters were to Jemima just because of her weight. But her courage and strength of character must be admired! She’s an absolute rockstar in my opinion and an inspiration all at the same time!! The ending was brilliant and naturally I cried....but th
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had seen this book quite a lot on Instagram and it had been getting very good reviews, with everyone loving it!!
When I finally got around to reading it, I just couldn’t stop, it was amazing, a must read!!
Jemima Small is one of the most wonderful characters I have ever read about. She is having a lot of problems at school with bullying and also being forced to join the ‘healthy eating club’ and some things at home aren’t much better.
The way that this book is written is brilliant, you can actual
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Honestly this is one of my favourite books I’ve ever read. Jemima is amazing and bubbly and smart and beautiful! I wish I had this book when I was Jemima’s age. She is such an amazing character and full of life and facts and this just really spoke to me. I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!
Sofia Wheeler
Dec 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book and is very moving.
Rebecca Rouillard
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
All hail the new Judy Blume! A wonderfully life-affirming story about learning to love yourself. Brilliant!
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really powerful story of the impact our words and actions can have on others. Thought provoking and clever - a must in every senior school library!
Sep 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great read. Really liked this! Full of good messages and role models that young people need to hear.
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED IT I just read miss nobody and I loved it so much i knew i had to pick up another book by tamsin winter and it was much better then my expectations people being body conscious is a real thing ang watching a girl go through and learn to love her body is incredible
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s, read-2019
One day at the beach Jemima Small realised she had the 'wrong' type of body. Since then she has wanted to be small, be unnoticed. She focuses on school, because education doesn't care about size, even if her classmates do. But then she gets a letter from the school inviting her to a 'fat club' and there is her proof that the school feels the same way as everyone else. When the school presents her with the chance to appear on her favourite TV show Brainiacs shies away because people don't want to ...more
Aqeelah Ally
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book is wholesome, yet powerful.
A beautiful exploration of body image, body-shaming, body positivity and finding your voice in a world that tries to silence it.
Perfect for all ages - young and old.
One of my favourite middle-grade reads of all time! <3
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you! More books about body- and fat-shaming, please. We need them. Story very nice to follow and well written. A touch predictable, but maybe just because I am a grown-up.
Amy (Golden Books Girl)
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you`ve been following this blog or me for a while, you`ll very likely know who Tamsin Winter is and that her first book Being Miss Nobody was one of my favourite reads in 2017. I was so excited to get my hands on an early copy of her second book which I feel like I`ve been waiting forever on, and I was even more thrilled that I loved it as well. It`s about a girl called Jemima who is grappling with body confidence after she starts noticing the way in which some people treat her because of her ...more
Bettina Haddon
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I devoured Jemima Small versus the Universe in a day. I fell in love with Jemima almost instantly. Less than a chapter in I felt a protective maternal instinct over her and was angered at how she was being treated. The story raised some difficult memories for me, but was written so beautifully and left me with a sense of empowerment and hope. I love Jemima’s sass and she reminded me of my daughter at times. The world can be difficult for anyone who sees themselves as “different” at times but thi ...more
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book is now a favourite of mine. It's a book I wish was around when I was younger.

Jemima is smart and funny, two things I love in a main character. Since she was about seven, people, strangers, have made her feel uneasy within herself because of her bigger size - seven! In the present (age 13), one particular student at her school is bullying her - I say out of jealously because Jemima is so smart! I loved reading about all the cool facts Jemima knows. I loved how she is so incredibly smar
Eve beinguniquebooks
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jemima Small hates how she looks bigger than the other girls and her surname, small for being her opposite.

She's proudly smart and is excited when an opportunity to take part in Braniacs her favourite TV show arises she's happy but at the same time, everything said to her by the kids, bullies, strangers all builds up.

Jemima has a great best friend in Miki who never fails to stick up for her while her old best friend Alina ditched her to hang out with Lottie who bullies Jemima.

As she faces joinin
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jemima small versus the universe

Jemima Small finds it hard to measure up. Especially because she's the very opposite of her name. And being forced to join a healthy eating group at school means no one will let her forget that. But if there’s one big thing she has going for her it’s her attitude – and she’s determined to prove that Jemima Small is a Big Deal.

A beautifully written book.

The story starts with her college incident of how she hated everything and how everyone hates her.

She is fat, a
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is a rip-roaring revelation. I adored it so so much. Meet Jemima Small, a young girl who is anything but small. She’s big and people like to pick on her for it. I loved this because it didn’t shy away from the truth about being a young, fat kid. You do get bullied, people do say things, you do get looks. I have been Jemima. I can’t wait to put this in the hands of so many young people and tell them you can be whoever you want because you are PERFECT just the way you are. Absolutely mag ...more
Jessikah Hope
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, 2019
Tamsin Winter is incredibly talented. Jemima Small is EVERYTHING I was looking for in a character and her hilarious but poignant family dynamics are wonderful. This is such an important book and I hope it finds its way into the hands of many young readers.
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jemima Small is SUCH a lovable and warm character, as is the whole plot of this story. Heartwarming and optimistic, and body positive. Could be read at any age despite the young character. Recommend 11+
Feb 13, 2021 rated it did not like it
this book was not my usual type of book. i think its aimed at younger readers but the main topic of fat shaming and bullying was completely brushed off to the side and the main character didn't ever stand up for herself. all the characters were really quite annoying and punchable ...more
Lorienne Brown
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those essential books every child should read, and maybe even their parents.
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"Tamsin Winter is fast becoming a favourite for younger teenagers, chronicling those first years at secondary school with warmth and honesty."
- The Observer

Tamsin Winter grew up in a tiny Northamptonshire village where she spent her childhood reading books and writing stories. She studied English Literature and Creative Writing at university, and has taught English at secondary level for many year

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