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Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies

Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies

4.5 165
by Erin Dionne

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Thirteen-year-old Celeste Harris is no string bean, but comfy sweatpants and a daily chocolate cookie suit her just fine. Her under-the-radar lifestyle could have continued too, if her aunt hadn?t entered her in the HuskyPeach Modeling Challenge. To get out of it, she?s forced to launch Operation Skinny Celeste?because, after all, a thin girl can?t be a fat model!


Thirteen-year-old Celeste Harris is no string bean, but comfy sweatpants and a daily chocolate cookie suit her just fine. Her under-the-radar lifestyle could have continued too, if her aunt hadn?t entered her in the HuskyPeach Modeling Challenge. To get out of it, she?s forced to launch Operation Skinny Celeste?because, after all, a thin girl can?t be a fat model! What Celeste never imagined was that losing weight would help her gain a backbone . . . or that all she needed to shine was a spotlight.

A hilarious debut featuring friendship, family, mean girls and even celebrity crushes, Celeste?s story is a delicious treat that doesn?t add a pound.

Editorial Reviews

Wry first-person narrative also provides convincing views of middle-school friendships, family dynamics, and incremental personal growth...a light, well-paced first novel.
Children's Literature - Anita Barnes Lowen
Celeste is what you call "chubby" if you are nice and "fat" if you are mean girl Lively Carson. Now, horror of horrors, her Aunt Doreen has entered her in the Miss Husky Peach modeling contest. Celeste's aunt and mother both tell her that this will be her chance to shine. But she believes that becoming the face of a clothing line for chunky girls will generate even more cruel junior high teasing than she already suffers. Like being called "Burrito Grande" by the guys at school. Or "wide load" and "solar eclipse" by Lively and her gaggle of girlfriends. Celeste wants no part of a fashion show, a photo shoot or a chance to walk the runway. But how can she get out of it without disappointing her Mom? The solution? "Operation Skinny Celeste"! Losing enough weight just might make her lose the contest. Lose she does, but in the end Celeste finds she's gained so much more, including self-confidence, new friends, and the attention of a guy who barely spoke two words to her in all of their years as classmates. And, of course, those oh-so-important makeup tips. Celeste is an engaging and ultimately sympathetic character who is far more than the stereotypical ridiculed fat girl. A thoroughly enjoyable read. Reviewer: Anita Barnes Lowen
School Library Journal

Gr 7-9

In this humorous novel, weight and friendship issues trouble plus-sized Celeste, 13, until she learns better eating habits and starts to stand up for herself. First she's forced to wear a hideous bridesmaid dress. Then her friend Sandra dumps her for Lively, a skinny popular girl. Worst of all, Celeste's aunt enters her in the HuskyPeach modeling competition; Celeste competes to please her mother, but makes plans to sabotage her chances of winning because she's embarrassed by the whole idea. The competition, however, actually boosts her confidence and helps her come to terms with her weight, her eating habits, and her feelings about Sandra's defection. The wry, funny tone makes this book a pleasurable read, and teens of all body types will enjoy Celeste's original voice. Those dealing with bullying and teasing will empathize with her and cheer her on. Other novels about overweight teens include Susan Vaught's Big Fat Manifesto and Simmone Howell's Everything Beautiful (both Bloomsbury, 2008), but this one is more lighthearted and for a slightly younger audience.-Miranda Doyle, San Francisco Public Library

Kirkus Reviews
Fat girl, entered into a plus-size beauty contest by her interfering aunt, decides to lose weight so that she'll be too thin to compete in an event she considers to be more than mortifying. It's a clever premise, and the most winning part of the book is the beauty pageant itself, which gives readers the opportunity to see the inside workings of the process. These scenes are far more engaging than the more familiar fat-girl-at-school material, which pits 13-year-old protagonist Celeste against a thin meany who is trying to steal her best friend. The beauty competition is presented as a multilevel affair that happens over a period of time, which gives Celeste the opportunity not only to shrink in size but to grow from passive and dull to resourceful and sympathetic. Although it's slow to gain traction and a bit too explicit in terms of life lessons learned, readers will warm to Celeste as she becomes a competitor in the Miss HuskyPeach contest, to say nothing of life itself. (Fiction. 8-12)

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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Table of Contents


Title Page

Copyright Page



Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30



Now, I have to admit, being a model sounds like a pretty cool job. Flying to all parts of the world to have my picture taken, hanging out with stars, never going to school, making lots and lots of money . . . that would be great. I imagined myself on a beach with Theo Christmas, posing for a Celeb Eye magazine cover shoot. “Closer,” the photographer would direct. “Theo, pull her closer.” I’d rest my head against his chest and smile hugely for the camera.

And then my imagination showed me nestling with him in my polka-dot one-piece, the one with the “modesty skirt” Grandma got me to hide what she calls my “peasant” shape. Modeling might be fun, or a great opportunity, but being the face of a clothing line for chunky girls was not the type of modeling that would generate seaside celebrity photo sessions. Excessive junior high teasing? Probably. Snuggles with Theo Christmas? No way. Also, husky or not, models don’t eat chocolate cookies.


A division of Penguin Young Readers Group • Published by The Penguin Group Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014, U.S.A. • Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4P 2Y3 (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) • Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England • Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) • Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) • Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi - 110 017, India • Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd) • Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa • Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England


Copyright © 2009 by Erin Dionne

All rights reserved


The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.




Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Dionne, Erin, date.
Models don’t eat chocolate cookies / by Erin Dionne.
p. cm.

Summary: Overweight thirteen-year-old Celeste begins a campaign to lose weight in order to make sure she does not win the Miss HuskyPeach modeling challenge, which her mother and aunt have entered her in—against her wishes.

eISBN : 978-1-101-01484-4

[1. Overweight persons—Fiction. 2. Weight control—Fiction. 3. Models (Persons)—Fiction. 4. Friendship—Fiction. 5. Self-esteem—Fiction. 6. Schools—Fiction.] I. Title. II. Title: Models do not eat chocolate cookies.

PZ7.D6216Mo 2009

For Frank, with all my love.

You were right.

Chapter 1

“NO WAY,” I hissed through the slatted dressing room door. “I am not coming out.”

“Honey, I have to see how it fits,” Mom said. “Let me look.”

I dropped my forehead against the beige cubicle wall. I’d have to give in eventually, but I wasn’t opening up until my cousin was back in the clothing cubby next to me.

“Oh, angel! It’s just bee-yoo-ti-ful on you. Isn’t she a sight, Noelle?” Aunt Doreen’s nasal whine came over the top of my dressing room door like arrows over a castle wall. Of course the dress was “bee-yoo-ti-ful” on Kirsten. What wasn’t? She was tall, blond, athletic, and one of the nicest people I knew. She also shared my celebrity crush on singer Theo Christmas. We both fell in love with him when her older sister took us to see him in concert last summer. I swear, he was singing to me the whole time. (She disagrees.)

“Does it look okay from the back?” Kirsten asked. I imagined her pirouetting in front of the three-way mirror at the end of the row, hair twirling like a shampoo commercial, evenly tanned skin standing out against the back of the dress, pastel lace and fabric hugging her in all the right places. I chose the only dressing room without a mirror on purpose.

“It’s lovely,” my mother offered, her voice tight. “Will you come out?” she stage-whispered through the dressing room door. “This is ridiculous.”

“Where’s Celeste?” Aunt Doreen said. “I haven’t seen her yet. Celeste, do you need help in there?”

I cringed. “No, Auntie, I’m fine,” I called. “Just, uh, almost ready. One more minute.” I tugged at the dress, hoping for the magical yank that would straighten seams, smooth wrinkles, or snap it into the right proportion. Sometimes you don’t need a mirror to know when things are very wrong.

“Kirsten, turn around again. I think it needs hemming, don’t you?” Aunt Doreen said. “Let’s get that seamstress in here.” Then, louder, directed at me, “Okay, Celeste, we’re waiting.”

Ready or not, here I come, I thought. Sliding the door’s bolt back, I hiked up the skirt and stepped into the dressing room corridor, head high. Maybe it wasn’t as bad as it felt.

Aunt Doreen gasped, then covered her mouth as if to trap what might follow. I let the dress sag to the floor.

“It’s . . . Oh, honey,” Mom tried. “It needs some alterations.”

I could imagine.

“Some?” said Aunt Doreen, biting the word like a potato chip. “What size did you order?”

I hung my head, trying to dampen the zing of her words, trying not to hear Mom explaining that we needed to order an adult size because the youth sizes weren’t cut for me. Besides, Mom said, a seamstress could fix it so the dress would “fall right,” whatever that meant.

“Wait!” barked a short white-haired woman with a tape measure around her neck and a handful of pins. She stood in the doorway between the dressing rooms and the rest of Angelique’s Bridal Boutique. “Don’t move or you’ll tear the lace!” When she said it, though, “move” came out like “moof” and “the” sounded like “ze.” I stayed put. Besides, where could I go in a falling-wrong dress?

“Zis needs several substantial alterations,” she said, gesturing in my direction with her chin. “When is the wedding?”

“Nine weeks,” Mom said, tearing her eyes away from me and turning to the seamstress. “Can it be fixed in time?”

Straight out of a soap opera, I thought. I’m in critical condition. I stared at my feet, lost in a puddle of apricot satin. Usually I avoided this type of situation—comfort was more important to me than fashion. Comfort meant clothes that didn’t pull, ride up, or show off too much. Comfort was soft, cozy, and worn; not lacy, satiny, or peachy. A movement caught my eye. Kirsten, the Barbie Bridesmaid, was slipping into her dressing room. She raised her perfectly shaped eyebrows in an expression of sympathy before closing the door.

A bony hand pushed against the small of my back, and the seamstress ushered me to the carpet-covered platform in front of the three-way mirror Kirsten had just vacated. I hoisted myself up and thought, I hate Kathleen.

Meet the Author

Erin Dionne writes humorous books with heart for tweens. Her titles--which are very long--have been named to several state reading lists, ALA lists, and have received some nice attention. They include MODELS DON'T EAT CHOCOLATE COOKIES (Dial 2009), THE TOTAL TRAGEDY OF A GIRL NAMED HAMLET (Dial 2010), and NOTES FROM AN ACCIDENTAL BAND GEEK (Dial 2011). Her latest novel, MOXIE AND THE ART OF RULE BREAKING:A 14 DAY MYSTERY (Dial 2013), has the longest title yet and is based on the real-life Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum art heist. She spends an inappropriate amount of time on Facebook, teaches writing at Montserrat College of Art, and lives outside of Boston with her husband, two children, and a very indignant dog.

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Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 165 reviews.
xobookwormxo More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. Celeste, the main character, is pretty much a typical teen - she goes to junior high, she has a best friend, Sandra, and she does good in school. She has one problem: her weight. Nasty Lively is constantly teasing and taunting her about her size, and won't leave Celeste alone. Celeste tries to forget about Lively...by eating chocolate cookies. And when her mom and aunt enroll her in a HuskyPeach modeling competetion, she's less than thrilled. Despite mean weight comments, nearly losing Sandra to Lively, and Lively herself, the Huskypeach pageant actually turns out to be a wondeful thing for Celeste. I don't want to give away the rest so...I liked this book a lot. I suggest it to any girl. I hope the author continues to write!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No matter if your skinny or overweight you are still beautiful. This book is amazing. A must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was sooooo awesome! Celeste learns how to be happy with herself and has great friends. I've read it 3x and plan to read it more.
GirlwiththeBraids More than 1 year ago
Celeste has always been called the Fat Girl, not only by the popular Lively and her antlike friends, but everyone knows she isn't the skinniest girl in the world. Celeste's best friend, Saundra, helped her get out of every bad situation, but now Saundra's gone to the other side; with the popular, pretty, matching-outfits crowd. What's more, Celeste's aunt enters her in the HuskyPeach pageant, a clothing company for plus-sized girls. Celeste is too afraid to back down but what will they call her at school now? There were many things that sounded appealing to Celeste about modeling, but models don't eat chocolate cookies.

Unique and splendid, this book catches the teenage girl audiences in more ways than one. The writing was simple and told only what needed to be mentioned. Each character's personality was intriguing and added more appeal to the story. There were parts that I didn't favor, due to Celeste's new found confidence. The story was interesting and explored the insecurities that most girls deal with, both teenage and preteen. I was expecting Celeste to find out that she was beautiful just the way she was but she had to lose weight to feel good about herself. Every way the story went, it was still a good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is PERFECT for girls who have low stantards of themselves or aleays want to be perfect. DEFINITELY buy this book!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is such an awesome book. Id reccomend it to girls who are 10-16 years old. I love it!!! You should definately get it! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was wonderful. It ws one of the best books i read. It has very good vocabulary. It makes you think about your own life. I reccomend this book to people in the age thouugh 11 to 16
Paul Smith More than 1 year ago
After reading this book, i realized nobody is perfect and its better to be yourself then to be a follower. Poor Celeste is dumped by her best friend, but at least she has a poster of the gorgeous Theo Christmas on her wall. Celeste talks to Theo, Red Bathing Suit Woman, Millie, and Katy and gets help, answers and the truth. They find out not even Miss Matchy Match Lively isnt perfect when something water filled explodes in her shirt. i said, TAKE THAT LIVELY YOU BRAT! i hope you enjoy this book as much as i, a twelve year old did!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This isn't my favorite book , but and must read for 12 year olds. This teaches kids that even if you want to be a model and your bigger things can come true just don't give up!!!!!! =D ♥
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book made me laugh and smile. I love celestes character. This is a great book for teens. A great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book its awesome!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book it is so funny and with a lot of drama to
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You understand the book by reading it. It is a good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As much as this book was amazing i think i kind of like LOVe chocolate....defenitely never gonna be a model
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is really good and funny! Definetly a "must read"!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I ate a cookie while reading this book!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely LOVE this book! I recommend it to anyone.
Cougar_H More than 1 year ago
Models don't eat chocolate cookies by Erin Dionne This is what I think the author's purpose for writing this book is. I believe that one of the purposes it to try and get chubbier girls to understand that they are pretty even when there bigger that some of the other girls. Erin Dionne is trying to say we need to be happy with the body that we are given, we need to make wise choices so that our body last a long time, also we need to be doing less surgeries on ourselves and just be happy with who we are. One of the things that the main character is being forced to do is be in a husky peach modeling competition, and she absolutely doesn't want to do it at all. I think the author is trying to show us that in life we don't always get to do what we want and that life isn't always fair to us. We just need to deal with it and move on sometimes. I think that this book also teaches that if you friend goes and sits at another table at lunch for one or two day doesn't mean that they don't want to be your friend anymore, they probably just wanted to have change for a couple of days or so that's all. Also this book talks about how she tried a diet drink that peels the weight right off and almost makes the poor girl throw up. What the author is trying to say is that you may want to talk with an adult before you try and make your self a diet drink that just doesn't look to right.
Beth_Rodgers_Author More than 1 year ago
'Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies' by Erin Dionne is an interesting, poignant read. It captures the essence of self-esteem issues and how mean girls (and boys) can enhance the pressure one feels, even if they don't mind how they look on their own. Celeste Harris is a young girl in middle school, struggling to keep her head above water when it comes to dealing with her weight. She never used to mind how she looked, but Lively Carson, resident mean girl, has been making more and more snide comments, causing her to feel hurt. This is only exacerbated by the fact that Lively has befriended Sandra, Celeste's best friend. Sandra has started making comments herself. Though they are not as mean as Lively's, Sandra's sting even more, because she never used to give in to the bullying mentality that Celeste has had to deal with from the other students at her school. When Celeste's aunt enters her in a plus-sized teen modeling contest, Celeste is anything but thrilled. She makes plans to try to get out of the competition altogether, or at least to throw it if her mother forces her to go through with it. Yet, as time goes on, she finds that she's not as upset about it as she thought she'd be. With the help of her gym class' nutrition unit, she also finds herself watching her weight more and more, and this brings her more confidence than she ever remembers having. This confidence brings her strength as she finds Lively in an embarrassing situation. Knowing she has something to hold over Lively's head, she learns that she is more than capable of standing up for herself, to Lively, to Sandra, and to anyone else who stands in her way. Dionne has captured an emotional time in a young girl's life with sensitivity. Watching Celeste wade through the troubles of middle school and her own self-esteem issues in the Miss HuskyPeach pageant is eye-opening and teaches that sometimes confidence in oneself is more important than whatever others may think and whatever the outcome may be. Beth Rodgers, Author of 'Freshman Fourteen,' A Young Adult Novel
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ChocolateDisco More than 1 year ago
Uggh. I seriously couldn't even get past a few chapters of this book, and from what I've  read about the ending, I never plan on reading the whole thing. Firstly, every single character in the  book is dumb as rocks. Her mother pushes Celeste to do something that she obviously isn't comfortable with, and never even considers her daughter's feelings. Same with her aunt. It's just... Not realistic. And that diet drink that Celeste concocts is OBVIOUSLY a bad choice. A five-year-old could realize that, hey, mayonnaise doesn't belong in drinks or smoothies, and if it tastes bad the first time you try it, IT WILL TASTE EVEN WORSE A DAY LATER UNREFRIGERATED. It's seriously as if she is a chicken with her head cut off, running and flailing about aimlessly, repeating, "Dur, I wonder if this will work?!" And her mom too, with the whole "I'll push my daughter into something that will make her miserable" act. Even Celeste's eight-year-old brother realizes that it's just not for her!  The worst thing is, all this cropped up in only about a half-hour into the book. If you like getting so agitated at fictional characters that you want to rip the book in half, then hey, it's a pretty well written book and it might just be for you. Otherwise, don't bother, since it apparently never redeems itself, and just ends with your typical pre-teen novel ending of "lonely undesirable middle-school girl gets what she wants and meets her teen idol omgz!!1!!111111"  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is looking good i dont have it or i didnt read it yet but i am looking forward to reading