Big Girl Small by Rachel DeWoskin

Here’s #2 in the challenge! First, in the world of books and movies and tv shows it seems like there are tons of houses out there with interesting heating ducts that allow people to listen in on conversations on other floors of thie house.  I have yet to ever be in a house where such a thing is true, but it’s awfully convenient in stories.   There are a couple of interesting things going on in this story. The first is that Judy is a dwarf and stands 3’9” tall at age almost 17.  The second is that she’s telling us her story from a dingy motel where she’s run away to after some sort of horrific, humiliating, scandal has broken, involving her.  She hints about the scandal and you have a pretty good idea what it is about by halfway through, but don’t find out for sure until a good ¾ of the way through.  I guess if I had any complaint about the book it would be that it seemed a tad too long.  I wish we had gotten to that reveal a bit sooner.  Judy is the sort of character that you are reading about and she seems to have it pretty good, so you just cringe whenever she makes a bad choice. Sure, she’s a dwarf, but she’s well adjusted, is such a talented singer that she’s gotten into a Fame-like performing arts school in her junior year, she has two brothers she likes and gets along with, and two parents who love and support her, and she likes hanging out with them too.  So when you see Judy do things like blow off the perfectly lovely new friends she is making you just want to smack her and say, “Stop it! Don’t go with the rich prepsters who are obviously using you! Go be with the nice friends who like you for who you are!!” But, alas, Judy did not heed my advice.  This is an adult novel, but I can see why it made the Alex Awards-there’s no reason a teen wouldn’t want to read this book about a teenager in such tough situations.  Despite the fact that Judy didn’t listen to me and messed things up, I did like her. I may have loved her friends Molly and Goth Sarah even more, though!  I also really liked the wonderful idealized teachers at her high school, and how the students respond to them.


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