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Digital Subscriptions > Quill & Quire > May 2017 > Weighty matters

Weighty matters

Wesley King’s heroine is more concerned with her size than her newfound superhero status

FICTION

Laura Monster Crusher

Wesley King

Puffin Canada, Ages 8-12

THERE’S A REASON popular kids aren’t usually called upon to take up quests in middle-grade fantasy: all metaphor goes out the window. Where’s the satisfaction in seeing a well-liked, effortlessly capable 12-year-old take down evil forces? The stakes are too low, there’s no empathy, no fun. But when the kid in question has something really deep to overcome – the loss of family or feelings of isolation – the stage is set for a slaying of both physical and metaphorical dragons.

Laura Ledwick is definitely not the most popular girl in Grade 8, let alone her school. Laura is funny, outgoing, and smart, but struggles with feelings about her weight. Mean girls taunt her about her size and she often mentions her body in a negative or self-deprecating way, referencing her “bulky arm” or “protruding stomach.” She’s thankful for a fresh start when her family moves to a rundown house in a new town.

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