Girl floating on her back in a pool

Starfish / Lisa Fipps

Ellie has been teased her whole life for her weight. The kids at school pull mean pranks on her; adults make rude comments to her in public; but her biggest bully is her mother, who dictates her diet, goes through the garbage to make sure Ellie didn’t eat anything extra, refuses to buy her new clothes, and passive aggressively leaves articles in the kitchen about dieting and bariatric surgery. But swimming is where Ellie can go to let it all go and be who she is. And she has support from her dad, who loves her just as she is. He starts taking her to a therapist, which angers Ellie, but he explains that he knows how sad she is and he thinks talking to someone will help her. This book is told in verse, and it really helps the reader to feel like they are in Ellie’s head and feeling what she’s feeling. A novel about learning to love who you are, letting others love you, and bullying. Recommended for kids aged 10 and older.