One Fat Summer


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He suffers there so much by people always having something to say.

I recommend this book to people who like to bully people and does who do get bully, it's such a good book. Dec 14, Justin H rated it it was amazing Shelves: reading-log. Feb 27, Jack Teitelbaum rated it really liked it. Pretty good, it was a great plot. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Believe it or not, this book took me 40 years to read. I'll explain why in a moment, but first my review. It's the story of Bobby Marks, an overweight high school kid today would be classified as morbidly obese who faces several big challenges during one summer vacation.

A sadistic local bully and his gang of friends tease Bobby merci Believe it or not, this book took me 40 years to read. A sadistic local bully and his gang of friends tease Bobby mercilessly about his weight, and by the end of the book present a serious physical danger to him. It's sadism of a different ilk, but in many ways equally as cruel. Bobby manages to take these and other challenges head on, and by the end of the summer he stands up to the bullies, tames the lawn and predatory hiring practices of the estate owner, and also loses weight, lots of weight, about 30 pounds.

I really liked how the changes take place in Bobby's body and psychology, not with a miracle diet or other quick fix, but with a series of small wins that over time become the big gains he experiences at the end of the summer. The book is a quick read and Bobby is an inspiring character, but there are parts that feel anachronistic, such as references to old baseball players, and the unfortunate use of the word "fag" as a common put down.

This is the way kids spoke back in the s, but I think it could lead to uncomfortable moments in a classroom or group setting. Besides these drawbacks, I still recommend this book, and bought it for my own sons. Well, to be honest, I bought the book for me, and this is why it took me 40 years to read the book. I started it in , when I was 10 years old. I was visiting a friend at their grandparent's summer cottage on a lake in upstate New York.

I remember little about this trip, besides this book. I found it in the house just a day before we were leaving and started reading it, knowing that I'd never be able to finish it. I was instantly hooked. But no matter how fast I tried to read, I couldn't finish it. We left and the book stayed behind. But like so many great stories, this book stayed with me over the years.

In particular I remembered this passage: One day when I was alone in the house I opened a box of Hydrox cookies and jammed them into my mouth, fast as I could, not caring about the brown crumbs spilling out of the corners of my mouth; just jammed in those cookies faster than I could chew them, swallowing lumps of cookies bigger than Ping-Pong balls that got stuck in my throat and chest until I choked and had to wash them down with cold milk. They still hurt going down. I felt every Hydrox Ping-Pong push through my throat and chest until it fell with a thump into my stomach.

One Fat Summer by Robert Lipsyte

And still I couldn't stop until I'd finished every cookie in the box, and then I had to lie down. I couldn't move for hours until it was digested. Powerful description, no? As I found out later this description depicts the thing that Bobby figures out by the end of the summer, the key to his obesity: he binge eats when he's upset. The only problem is that I couldn't remember the title, author, character names, location, or anything much identifying about the book. More than once I went on Google and typed in keywords or phrases with bits of the story "overweight kid cuts lawns and eats Oreos".

I never was able to find the book. Then one day I stumbled across a website called BiblioSleuth that is specifically for help in finding the names of forgotten books and stories. I typed in all the information I knew and, lo and behold, a retired librarian pinpointed the book within a day or two. When I received it, I got a little worried it was the wrong book because I couldn't find the Hydrox passage, but once I settled down to read it, it emerged like an old friend from the text.

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This sounds a bit silly, but I feel like one of the desires of my childhood has been fulfilled by finding and finally finishing this book. Aug 31, Mahit rated it really liked it. Bobby Marks weighs pounds and it's summer time. His parents want to send him for a camp but no one wants to go to camp and meet new people. He takes a job to mow Dr. The summer at Rumson Lake is going to be tough for Bobby. His mom and dad keep on fighting. The pounds pulls him back and weighs him down.

Bobby is persistent and determined to get through this summer and wont let his weight get in his way. Is Bobby about to have the best summer or the worst summer of his life?

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Dec 31, Samantha Lyn rated it really liked it. I read this book for the first time during 7th grade and I really enjoyed it. I recently purchased it and wanted to read it again to see how I felt about it now that I am older. I still really like it, however I think I enjoyed it more in middle school. I could really relate to the main character, I use to have a really hard time during hot months wearing summery clothes shorts, tank tops, etc. Overall, I liked the writing style, the characters and the plot. I would recommend it for younger re I read this book for the first time during 7th grade and I really enjoyed it.

I would recommend it for younger readers middle school-high school age , even though there is some moderately strong language used at parts. Shelves: reading-challenge. I liked the redemptive qualities of Robert as he grew into the person he was meant to be, not the person everyone assumed he was. Also, his "humor" is a bit lacking.

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Lots of "don't have a cow" type phrases but whatever they said in the late 70s. Still, I like books about weight loss so there's that. When his dad pressures him into getting a job, Bobby secretly lies about his age to Dr. Kahn and becomes a lawn boy. Bobby is overweight; this is a fact that his family and society will not let him forget.


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Despite being put down and swindled by his boss and being bullied by the locals, Bobby works hard, he does his best, and he grows as a character. It isn't clear whether this is because she looks different or because she actually is different - but it reinforces the overall theme of physical appearance and its impact on behavior and confidence. Both characters change the way they look, Bobby through hard physical labor and Joanie through expensive plastic surgery. They both transfer from ugly ducklings to stronger swans.

The book is set in the 50s; there are undercurrents of homophobia and racism, from the locals but also from Bobby re: his fears of being "homo. Lipsyte doesn't write down to the reader; this was enjoyable to read as an adult. Another book from my childhood View 2 comments.


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  6. I knew I read this one, but I barely remembered a thing about it. The ending itself kinda hung there.

    One Fat Summer (Ursula Nordstrom Book)

    Dec 22, Duane rated it liked it. I had read this book in elementary school. I was a chubby kid, and somehow, I had discovered this book in a library. Maybe a librarian recommended it. I don't remember the story very clearly, but I do remember key moments: a fight in a swimming pool or lake where his swimming skills gave him the advantage, his cutting grass of an old man's lawn using one of those blade mowers that didn't have an engine, and I remember the surprising triumph of his looking at a bicep and seeing the appearance o I had read this book in elementary school.

    I don't remember the story very clearly, but I do remember key moments: a fight in a swimming pool or lake where his swimming skills gave him the advantage, his cutting grass of an old man's lawn using one of those blade mowers that didn't have an engine, and I remember the surprising triumph of his looking at a bicep and seeing the appearance of a green vein.

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