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Dumplin'

Cover: 'Dumplin''

Staff Review: "Dumplin'" by Julie Murphy

★★★★★

Sixteen-year-old Willowdean Dickson (“Dumplin’” to her mother) is not afraid to describe herself as a “fat girl,” and she is comfortable in her own skin until her attractive and athletic workplace crush (Bo) shows an interest in her. She is horrified to realize that she is more self-conscious about her body now that she is the object of someone’s attraction and possible affection. At the same time, she and her long-time best friend Ellen seem to be drifting apart, and she starts to doubt that not even their shared devotion to all things Dolly Parton will be enough to keep them tethered. To top it off, her mother, a former beauty queen and current pageant coordinator for their small Texas town, has decided to change her late sister Lucy’s room into a craft room/pageant prep room. Having lost her beloved Aunt Lucy the previous December, Willowdean is not ready for that change. Amidst all of this upheaval, she decides to participate in the Blue Bonnet pageant and is stunned to see some of her fellow “misfits” at school join her. It’s an upbeat, humorous, and occasionally moving exploration of mothers-and-daughters, friendship, self-worth, and identity. The book (as well as the audiobook) is a delight! Fans of Rainbow Rowell, John Green, or David Levithan’s are likely to enjoy this heartfelt and laugh-inducing book.

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction

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