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“School is the worst part of my life and I spend more time there than anywhere else.”

Chelsea Duvay does not speak, and she looks at her feet. All Chelsea sees and hears is “overweight” and “fatty.” “Chubby Chelsea” they whisper to her.

The adults in Chelsea’s life, her parents and teachers, do not know enough about what is going on, and their solutions only further Chelsea’s entrapment. Deep down Chelsea knows she has a beautiful voice and lovely feet, but deep down is so out of reach.

An incident at a school dance makes Chelsea wonder what she did to deserve her life. She can no longer endure it. But the love of a friend helps Chelsea to believe in herself and know her true worth.

Struyk-Bonn’s novel is written about and for adolescents. It is honest and raw in its depiction of the cruelty and pain that lies just under the surface in the lives of teens. A recommended read for parents, youth leaders, and teachers. Grades 8 and up. (Switch Press)

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