Fat Kid Rules the World Book Poster Image

Fat Kid Rules the World

(i)

 

Meaty book offers plenty to talk about.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Educational value

This book deals with lots of issues that could open up discussions: teen suicide, drugs, homelessness, and abuse.

Positive messages

An unexpected friendship helps two troubled boys grow.

Positive role models

Troy's father is a rigid stereotype in Troy's eyes, and for a while the
reader's eyes, too. But from Curt's point of view, and in the midst of
crisis, his faults morph into virtues without too much gong-beating from
the author. Young readers may have cause to reassess their opinions of
their own parents.

Violence

It's implied that Curt has been abused. Troy graphically imagines jumping in front of a train.

Sex

Troy has sexual fantasies. A reference to masturbation.

Language

Plenty, including lots of damn, crap, whore, and the s-word and f-word (in lots of variations).

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Curt is probably a junkie, at least abusing prescription drugs, and smokes a joint. Some smoking. Troy and others drink.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this book looks at an unexpected friendship between two troubled boys. One boy contemplates suicide and the other abuses drugs, and may have been abused. This book features a lot of mature language -- including the s and f word -- and raises plenty of issues you may want discuss with your teen: suicide, drugs, homelessness, and abuse. 

What's the story?

Troy, a 300-pound high-schooler, is contemplating jumping in front of a train when he meets Curt, an emaciated, homeless, guitar-playing, drop-out legend in his school. Before he knows what has hit him, Troy has agreed to be the drummer in a new band Curt is forming, despite not playing drums. With a faith in him that Troy doesn't understand, Curt is Troy's nightmare and dream come true, often at the same time. Though Troy's father suspects that Curt's a junkie, he ultimately supports Troy's efforts to learn the drums, the first thing he has seemed interested in since his mother died. But getting involved in Curt's world of punk rock and street life is more than any of them bargained for.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Though told by Troy, this is really the story of Curt, surely the most charming homeless teen junkie guitar-god in literature. Devious, brilliantly talented, weirdly wise, slightly insane, leading a nightmare life, a tornado of energy and need, Curt is an original, and horrifyingly delightful, character. Though depressed and at times self-pitying, Troy has a sense of humor. He sees everything in his life through the lens of his weight, but doesn't even consider doing anything about it: He was skinny before his mother died, now he's fat, and that's it. Despite the seemingly loud and crazed storyline, first-time novelist K. Going is ingeniously subtle. Troy's father is a rigid stereotype in Troy's eyes, and for a while the reader's eyes, too. But from Curt's point of view, and in the midst of crisis, his faults morph into virtues without too much gong-beating from the author. Young readers may have cause to reassess their opinions of their own parents.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about some of the serious issues raised by this book. Do you know any teens who are like Curt or Troy? What can teens gain by reading about kids who are suicidal or homeless -- even if those aren't things they will ever experience?

  • What did you think of the mature language in this book? Does it add or detract from the story?

Book details

Author:K. L. Going
Genre:Contemporary Fiction
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Penguin Group
Publication date:January 25, 2004
Number of pages:175
Publisher's recommended age(s):14

This review of Fat Kid Rules the World was written by

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Kid, 10 years old October 15, 2011

i love it

this book is so appropriate everyone should buy it for there kids seriously i love it oh and its so realistic anybody who dosnt like it sucks butterflies
What other families should know
Educational value
Great role models
Teen, 15 years old Written by125541cece December 28, 2011

it was great not for little kids but it was great

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byharmonicaplayin... April 9, 2008

Depends on who's reading it

Of course it was amazing. It was brilliant. But you should really know the person before you let them read it -- a lot of kids my age would blow it off as nothing, I know.