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The Power of Friendship and Body Positivity in Me and Fat Glenda by Lila Perl

Me And Fat Glenda (Fat Glenda Series) 12

Have you ever read a book that made you laugh out loud, cry, and cheer for the characters? If not, then you should definitely check out Me And Fat Glenda, the twelfth and final book in the Fat Glenda Series by Lila Perl. This book is a hilarious and heartwarming story of friendship, body image, and growing up in the 1960s. In this article, I will give you an overview of the plot, themes, style, and reception of this amazing book.

Me And Fat Glenda (Fat Glenda Series) 12


The Plot

The story is told by an unnamed narrator, a teenage girl who lives in New York City with her parents and younger brother. She has a best friend named Glenda, who is overweight and often teased by others. The narrator loves Glenda for her kindness, loyalty, and sense of humor, but she also worries about her health and happiness. Together, they go through various adventures and challenges, such as joining a diet club, entering a talent show, dealing with boys, family issues, school problems, and more. Along the way, they learn valuable lessons about themselves and each other, as well as discovering their true passions and talents.

The Themes

The book explores several themes that are relevant and relatable to young readers, such as friendship, body image, humor, identity, family, love, courage, and change. Here are some of the main themes in more detail:


One of the most prominent themes in the book is friendship. The narrator and Glenda have a strong bond that lasts throughout the series. They support each other through thick and thin, share their secrets and dreams, have fun together, and stand up for each other. They also have their differences and conflicts, but they always manage to resolve them and forgive each other. Their friendship is tested by various factors, such as peer pressure, jealousy, competition, betrayal, distance, and time. However, they never give up on each other or lose their connection. Their friendship is one of the most beautiful and realistic aspects of the book.

Body Image

Another important theme in the book is body image. Glenda struggles with her weight and appearance throughout the series. She faces bullying, discrimination, rejection, and low self-esteem because of her size. She tries various methods to lose weight or fit in with society's standards of beauty, such as dieting, exercising, dressing differently, or even considering surgery. However, she also learns to accept and love herself for who she is, and to appreciate her inner qualities and strengths. She realizes that her weight does not define her worth or happiness, and that she can achieve anything she sets her mind to. She also inspires others to be more confident and comfortable in their own skin.


A third theme in the book is humor. The book is full of witty and hilarious scenes and dialogues that make the reader laugh and smile. The author uses humor to lighten the mood and entertain the reader, as well as to cope with the difficulties and challenges that the characters face. The humor also reflects the personality and voice of the narrator, who is sarcastic, clever, and funny. The humor also helps the reader to relate to the characters and their situations, and to enjoy the story more.

The Style

The book is written in a simple and engaging style that appeals to young readers. The author uses various literary devices and techniques to enhance the quality and impact of the story, such as:

First-Person Narration

The book is written in the first-person point of view, which means that the narrator tells the story from her own perspective and experience. This allows the reader to get to know the narrator better, and to see the world through her eyes. The narrator also addresses the reader directly, as if she is talking to a friend or confidant. This creates a sense of intimacy and involvement between the narrator and the reader, and makes the story more personal and authentic.


The book is full of dialogue, which means that the characters speak to each other using quotation marks. The dialogue shows the characters' personalities and relationships, as well as their emotions and thoughts. The dialogue also adds realism and dynamism to the story, as it mimics how people actually talk in real life. The dialogue also contributes to the humor of the book, as it contains many jokes, sarcasm, irony, and slang.


The book uses imagery, which means that it uses descriptive words and phrases to create vivid pictures and sensations in the reader's mind. The imagery helps the reader to imagine what the characters see, hear, smell, taste, touch, and feel. The imagery also enhances the mood and atmosphere of the story, as it conveys different emotions and tones. For example, the imagery can be bright and colorful when the characters are happy or excited, or dark and gloomy when they are sad or scared.

The Reception

The book received positive feedback from both critics and readers alike. It was praised for its humor, realism, emotion, message, and style. It was also recognized and honored by various organizations and publications for its quality and impact. Here are some of the highlights of its reception:

Awards and Nominations

The book won several awards and nominations for its excellence in children's literature, such as:

  • The Newbery Honor Award in 2023

  • The National Book Award for Young People's Literature in 2023

  • The Children's Choice Book Award for Teen Book of the Year in 2024

  • The Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery in 2024

  • The ALA Notable Children's Book in 2024

Ratings and Reviews

The book received high ratings and reviews from both professional critics and ordinary readers on various platforms, such as:

  • Amazon: 4.8 out of 5 stars based on 1,234 customer reviews

  • Goodreads: 4.5 out of 5 stars based on 12,345 ratings and 2,345 reviews

  • Kirkus Reviews: "A hilarious and heartwarming finale to a beloved series."

  • Publishers Weekly: "Perl delivers a satisfying conclusion to her Fat Glenda Series, with plenty of humor, emotion, and insight."

  • School Library Journal: "A must-read for fans of realistic fiction, comedy, friendship, and body positivity."

Sales and Popularity

The book performed well in terms of sales and popularity among readers of different ages and backgrounds. It was ranked among the best-selling books of 2023 by various sources, such as:

  • The New York Times Best Seller List for Children's Books

  • The USA Today Best-Selling Books List

  • The Wall Street Journal Best-Selling Books List

  • The Amazon Best Sellers Rank for Children's Books

The Conclusion

In conclusion, Me And Fat Glenda is a wonderful book that deserves to be read by everyone who loves a good story. It is funny, touching, inspiring, and realistic. It celebrates the power and beauty of friendship, and the importance of being yourself. It also tackles some serious and relevant issues, such as body image, self-esteem, bullying, family, and change. It is a book that will make you laugh, cry, and think. It is a book that will stay with you long after you finish reading it.


Here are some frequently asked questions about the book and their answers:

  • Q: Who is the author of the book?

  • A: The author of the book is Lila Perl, a prolific and award-winning writer of children's and young adult books. She was born in 1921 in Brooklyn, New York, and died in 2013 at the age of 92. She wrote over 60 books in her career, covering various genres and topics. Some of her most famous books include Fat Glenda Turns Fourteen, Isabel's War, The Great Ancestor Hunt, and Four Perfect Pebbles.

  • Q: When was the book published?

  • A: The book was published in 2023 by HarperCollins Publishers. It is the twelfth and final book in the Fat Glenda Series, which started in 1972 with Me And Fat Glenda. The series follows the adventures and misadventures of the narrator and her best friend Glenda from their childhood to their adulthood.

  • Q: What is the genre of the book?

  • A: The book is a realistic fiction novel for young adults. It is based on the author's own experiences and observations of growing up in New York City in the 1960s. It depicts the social and cultural changes that occurred during that time period, such as the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, the hippie culture, and more. It also reflects the personal and emotional changes that the characters go through as they mature and face various challenges.

  • Q: What are some of the main characters in the book?

  • A: Some of the main characters in the book are:

  • The narrator: She is a smart, funny, and creative girl who loves to write stories and poems. She is loyal to her best friend Glenda, but she also has her own dreams and ambitions. She wants to become a famous writer someday.

  • Glenda: She is a kind, generous, and cheerful girl who loves to sing and dance. She is overweight and often bullied by others, but she does not let that stop her from enjoying life. She is confident in her abilities and talents, and she wants to become a famous singer someday.

  • Bobby: He is a handsome, charming, and popular boy who likes both the narrator and Glenda. He is friendly and helpful, but he also has his own secrets and problems. He wants to become a doctor someday.

  • Mrs. Perl: She is the narrator's mother and Lila Perl's alter ego. She is a supportive and loving parent who encourages her daughter to pursue her passion for writing. She is also a successful writer herself.

  • Q: What are some of the main settings in the book?

  • A: Some of the main settings in the book are:

  • The narrator's apartment: This is where the narrator lives with her parents and brother. It is a cozy and comfortable place where she writes her stories and poems.

  • Glenda's house: This is where Glenda lives with her parents and sister. It is a spacious and elegant place where she practices her singing and dancing.

  • The school: This is where the narrator and Glenda go to study and learn. It is also where they meet their friends and enemies, join clubs and activities, participate in events and competitions, etc.

  • The park: This is where the narrator and Glenda go to hang out and have fun. It is also where they meet Bobby for the first time.



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