This book has not yet been released, but I am still going to judge it by it’s cover on it’s Amazon page (which I am linking to so you can do your part to leave a comment about how appropriate you think this book is) and by it’s description on the authors website which says:
Maggie has so much potential that has been hiding under her extra weight. This inspiring story about a 14 year old who goes on a diet and is transformed from being overweight and insecure to a normal sized teen who becomes the school soccer star. Through time, exercise and hard work, Maggie becomes more and more confident and develops a positive self image.
Maggie has so much potential but she will never achieve it because she is fat. She will never have self confidence as long as she is fat. Self-esteem? Garbage until she gets skinny and popular.
What’s worse, according to this article from The Guardian and the description from US Amazon site, is that this book is aimed at 6 year old girls. 6 year old girls? a 6 year old girl is probably just starting to understand the wider world around her and her place in it, and she is met with this message? That she has no self-worth unless she is skinny?
The book blog Treasury Island said it well in their scathing post about the book:
Young girls are surrounded by messages telling them they’re not good enough. But just in case they miss the billboard adverts, TV commercials, models and actors preaching impossible standards of beauty and culturally acceptable body sizes why not give them this? It’s never to early to introduce body fascism to your children!
At least when someone stumbles onto this book on the Amazon site and reads the customer comments and tags for this book, they will understand the true messages behind a book like this. The Internet can be such a great place.