Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

Google Custom Search

book cover

Fry, Erin.


New York : Amazon Children’s Pub., 2012

IL 5-8, RL 5.0

ISBN 0761462201

(2 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews

Booktalk #1

Bennett loves baseball, not playing it, watching it with his Dad while they snack.  He and his dad have been spending most of their free time together since mom died, with the exception of his friend P.G.  School is a kinda tense for Bennett, since he’s a liiiiittle overweight…all right, a lot overweight.  He is so heavy getting up off the couch leaves him drowning in sweat.  He gets a donut-shaped sweat ring ON his middle, the hole being the hollow of his navel.  When Dad has a major stroke, Bennett is left in the clutches of his mom’s sister, his Aunt Laura, a complete health freak.

Fortunately for Bennett, his aunt leaves him in his regular school, so some things remain familiar, especially since everything else in his life has changed: his residence, family expectations, and particularly his lifestyle.  Aunt Laura expects him to eat healthily and exercise – something sorely lacking in his life since his mom’s passing.  After discovering he may like being outside to walk or run, he joins the cross-country team, alienating P.G.  He finds a new camaraderie on the track team – skinny kids are necessarily fast! – but worries about losing his former identity as his health gradually improves.

Losing It has great pacing, drawing the reader in to Bennett’s worries about his family, friends, sports, and possible first girlfriend.  While the book revolves around a boy’s battle with health and friends, I loved finding a great sports book about something other than the big 3 – football, basketball, & baseball.  I love that we have a “sports book” on a sport which is inclusive – everybody gets to run.   How nice to have a sports book about a different sport…  

  (New Hampshire Isinglass Teen Book Award, 2014)

Booktalk #2

After his mom dies of cancer, Bennett and his dad live a life filled with fast food and watching baseball, leaving them both extremely overweight. One day, Bennett’s dad has a massive heart attack. While his dad recovers, Bennett is forced to live with his controlling Aunt Laura and her fitness crazed family. Bennett struggles internally with all of the changes and he worries constantly about his dad, but he finds an unlikely source of comfort when he joins the cross country team.  However, his friend, P.G., who is also overweight, does not understand why Bennett suddenly wants to be an athlete and refuses to talk to him. The insurance company won’t keep paying his dad’s bills unless his dad shows progress each day. And suddenly cross country is far more serious than Bennett ever expected. Can Bennett keep it all together without his dad and his best friend?  (South Carolina Junior Book Award nominee 2015,  Prepared by: Nikki Parton, Honea Path Middle School,

SUBJECTS:     Obesity -- Fiction.

                        Health -- Fiction.

                        Cerebrovascular disease -- Fiction.

                        Running -- Fiction.

                        Fathers and sons -- Fiction.

                        Family life -- Fiction.

Main Page ** Author List ** Title List ** New This Month ** Interest Level ** Subject List ** FAQ's ** Contributors ** Booktalking Tips **Book Review Sources ** Reading lists ** Reading lists ** Awards **Nancy Keane's Children's Website **
Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is
licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License