Chew on This

Common Sense Media says

Fast Food Nation for kids is quite meaty.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
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8
9
10
11
12
13
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids learn about the chemicals in the food, how junk food is marketed (and why kids make great targets), how animals are raised and killed, and what it is doing to our bodies. Teens wanting to use that information to make some changes should check out the publisher's press release for some ideas.

Positive messages

Encourages kids to think about what they eat -- and how they spend their money. Parents should know the book does have a pro-union/ anti big business stance.

Positive role models

Teens may be especially drawn to the profiles of kids throughout the book: The McDonald's employee working long hours at the expense of her school work, the Native American girl working to stop soft drink sales at her school, the obese teen boy worried about having gastric bypass surgery.

Violence

Some details about how animals are raised and slaughtered. A teen gets a weight-loss operation that nearly kills him.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

All sorts of products are mentioned, from McDonald's to Waffle House, but kids definitely get the idea that fast food and soda are not good for them.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this book features some upsetting details about how livestock is raised and killed. There are disturbing photographs of rotten body parts. The book also has a pro-union/anti-big business stance. Like Fast Food Nation, from which it was adapted, this book encourages readers to think about what they eat -- and how they spend their money.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

This book teaches kids the history of fast food, and shows them the impact it has had on society. Kids learn about the chemicals in the food, how junk food is marketed (and why kids make great targets), how animals are raised and killed, and what it is doing to our bodies.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Fast Food Nation fans will certainly recognize much of the material here; this book features many of the same stories and facts about junk food. Even so, the subject matter remains fascinating -- and repulsive. You don't want to look, and yet you can't turn away.

Teens may be especially drawn to the profiles of kids throughout the book: The McDonald's employee working long hours at the expense of her school work, the Native American girl working to stop soft drink sales at her school, the obese teen boy worried about having gastric bypass surgery. The photographs seem randomly placed throughout the book, and the narrative can wander a bit. Even so, teens probably will be inspired to rethink their habits.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about their eating habits. How do your kids think they are doing versus most American teens and tweens?

  • The authors encourage kids to vote with their dollars and "stop buying" junk food from fast-food companies. Ask your kids: Do they think that individual behavior can really make an impact on society? What else could you do to make a difference? Check out the publisher's press release for some ideas.

Book details

Authors:Charles Wilson, Eric Schlosser
Genre:Learning
Book type:Non-Fiction
Publisher:Houghton Mifflin Children's Books
Publication date:May 9, 2006
Number of pages:270
Publisher's recommended age(s):12
Read aloud:12
Read alone:12

This review of Chew on This was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written bysillysasha123 April 24, 2014
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Exellent book!!

Overall this was a great book! it is truly an eye opener. I did like some fast food occasionaly but after reading this, i have never eaten a chicken nugget again! Not that it will necessarly kill you, but Chew on This shows the repulsive way the nuggets are made!! If only every American on earth would read this. Maybe we would have an even healthier nation!!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Parent Written byDietMtnDew June 19, 2013
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

Poisoning Minds

This book is a terrible influence on children. This book only tells one half of the story. "Chew On This" only talks about extreme cases that occur sometimes, but doesn't mention any of the "pros". The book left my child VERY anxious about what happens when we go out for hamburgers at McDonalds. I do not think that "Chew On This" is appropriate for children AT ALL.
Teen, 13 years old Written bynorthpark April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

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