High school sophomore Andrew Zansky can't have these things because he is fat. At 307 pounds, he has to worry about whether he will fit into his desk, keep an eye out for the school bully who just wants to beat him up, and try not to eat in front of his mother who badgers him about his weight.
Even though Andy is very smart, has a great sense of humor and a good friend in model UN fanatic Eytan, he is still aware that in high school, as in the rest of his life, he just doesn't fit.
When Andy is unexectedly befriended by the popular school quarterback he finds himself trying out for the football team. Suddenly he is in the popular crowd - he now can have friends who invite him to parties, students who wave to him in the halls and maybe even April, the girl of his dreams.
But will it last?
This book won the Sid Fleischman Humor Award for 2010. Andy's self-deprecating humor and observations of his fellow students, as well as some very funny situations, can make you laugh out loud. (see pages 49-52 where Andy gets tangled in the soccer net during gym class and has to be cut out of it)
But underlying it all is a feeling of poignancy because of someone so likeable who is constantly feeling bad about himself because of the way he looks. A good message that girls aren't the only ones who suffer from society's pressure to look a certain way.
If you like this book, try Chris Crutcher's Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes.
Place a hold on Food, girls, and other things I can't have