In movies and on television, teens and children are portrayed as slender singing and dancing youngsters whose biggest worries are the occasional zit and what they will wear on a Friday night date.
During a book signing many years ago, authors and screenwriters, Diane Lange and Mike Buchanan met a young man, Doug Hennig, who told of his struggles as he went from fat to fit. Diane and Mike were so inspired by the young man’s story of childhood obesity that art’s imitation of life resulted in the book, The Fat Boy Chronicles, currently available for your reading pleasure, and, a major motion picture film of the same title, set to be released in early 2010. Jason Winn is the director. Through this inspiration and collaboration, the world is introduced to the main character of the book and movie, Jimmy Winterpack, an overweight teen with many struggles. Ron Lester, actor who starred with Jon Voight in the major motion picture, Varsity Blues, and the WB series, Popular, plays the doctor in the movie.
The Fat Boy Chronicles expose the ugly reality that millions of youth live through every day—the psychological turmoil and the declining health of a generation that is a result of childhood obesity.
This book is very timely in nature. It has been reported that at the current rate of childhood obesity, this present generation will not outlive their parents
. Even if you could guess the book and movie’s outcome, the transformational journey of the main character, coupled with his ability to take charge of his life in a positive manner is inspirational.
Written in the style of a journal, the book allows all of its readers to be self-reflective—youth and adults. Student readers are encouraged to read and write as they follow the progression of the main character who goes from a student that hates to read and write to a student that, by book’s end, has honed his craft of writing and finds it quite enjoyable.
Adult readers are able to reflect upon their own practices that may support healthy living habits or add to a child’s detriment in the childhood obesity struggle. Additionally, as adults read this book, they are likely to be more cognizant of the silent pain that some students endure daily as a result of being overweight, or, feeling like they are different and don’t fit in with others.
I recommend The Fat Boy Chronicles to parents, teachers, students and anyone that has a child in their life that they care about. I would recommend this book to schools, not just for the encouragement of healthy lifestyles, better eating habits, and the promotion of literacy efforts, but, also for the development of sensitivity training among students, teachers, and anyone involved in the educational process.
I would like to thank authors and screenwriters, Diane Lang and Mike Buchanan, director, Jason Winn, and actor, Ron Lester for allowing me the opportunity to interview them concerning the book and the movie. I would also like to thank the young actors on the set of The Fat Boy Chronicles who were so eager to share their experiences while making me feel at home while visiting the movie’s set. Additionally, I would like to thank all the aforementioned for their passion, devotion, and tireless efforts to become instrumental in ensuring that our youth win the war against childhood obesity. I commend your efforts. I truly enjoyed the book, and, look forward to the movie’s release in 2010.
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