One Fat Summer

One Fat Summer

by Robert Lipsyte

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No summer vacation could be less promising than Bobby Mark's.

Bobby Marks hates hot weather. It's the time when most people are happy to take off their heavy jackets and long pants. But for Bobby, who can't even button the waist of his jeans or reach over his belly to touch his toes, spending the summer at Rumson Lake is pure torture.

This particular summer promises to be worse than usual. His mom and dad can't stop fighting. His best friend, Joanie, goes home to New York City unexpectedly and won't tell him why. Dr. Kahn, the rich, stingy estate owner who hires him to manage the lawn, is trying to work Bobby to death before he can earn a single dime. And the local guy who worked for Dr. Kahn last summer is lurking around every corner, itching for a chance to catch Bobby alone, to pay him back for stealing the job.

But there's more to Bobby Marks than his two hundred pounds. He's about to find out just how terrifying and eshilarating, how dangerous and wonderful, one fat summer can be.

Author Biography: Robert Lipsyte is the author of The Contender, an ALA Notable Children's Book of 1940–1970, and The Brave, a l992 Best Book for Young Adults (ALA). Mr. Lipsyte lives in New York, NY. Winner of the 2001 Margaret Edwards Award

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060238957
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/01/1977
Pages: 152
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Robert Lipsyte was an award-winning sportswriter for the New York Times and the Emmy-winning host of the nightly public affairs show The Eleventh Hour. He is the author of twelve acclaimed novels for young adults and is the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring his lifetime contribution in that genre. He lives in Manhattan and on Shelter Island, New York, with his wife, Lois, and his dog, Milo.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

I always hated summertime. When people take off their clothes. In winter you can hide yourself. Long coats, heavy jackets, thick sweaters. Nobody can tell how fat you really are. But in the summertime they can see your thick legs and your wobbly backside and your big belly and your soft arms. And they laugh.

I never would have gone to the Rumson Lake Community Association Carnival on the Fourth of July if it hadn't been cool enough that night to wear a long-sleeved knit shirt outside my pants. At the start of that summer, my fourteenth, I couldn't button the waist of any of my pants without getting a stomachache. I weighed more than 200 pounds on July 4th. I don't know exactly how much more because I jumped off the bathroom scale when the number 200 rolled up. The numbers were still climbing past the pointer when I bailed out.

I was tall for my age and I had large, heavy bones, so I didnt look like a circus freak. Just like a very fat boy. When my pants weren't strangling my belly, and if there were no scales or mirrors around, I could forget for a while that I was fat. But sooner or later there'd be someone around to remind me. The wise guys started up as soon as we got to the carnival, at Marino's Beach Club and Snack Bar.

"Hey, it's the Crisco Kid," yelled one of the older teenagers hanging around the snack bar.

"Why do you call him the Crisco Kid?" It sounded like a comedy routine. I knew what was coming.

"Because he's fat in the can."

They all laughed. My face got hot, but I pretended I hadn't heard. Rule number one:never let people know they can get to you or they'll never stop trying. Joanie pretended she hadn't heard, either.

"Look at that girl he's with. The nose knows."

"She's the one who blew the wind in."

I felt embarrassed for Joanie. Someday I'd wake up thin, I believed that. But poor Joanie was stuck with that nose for her whole life. It was long and crooked. The rest of her face was pretty, but who ever looked at the rest of her face?

"Hey, let's go to the booths," she said. "I feel lucky, tonight." Joanie was a terrific pretender, too.

It was early, there was still light in the sky and the crowds hadn't arrived yet. Strings of colored bulbs danced in the breeze off the lake. The jukebox was playing "Little White Cloud That Cried."

"There's that dumb song again," I said.

"It's not so bad, when you're in the mood," said Joanie.

"I'm only in the mood when I've got an umbrella."

"That's a joke, son," said Joanie. "It was only funny the first twenty-seven times you said it."

"Then how come you never laughed?"

"Ha-ha. Okay?"

Then we both laughed.

I've known Joaniesince we were three years old. Our parents were best friends. In the city we lived in the same apartment house and we were always in the same classes in school. Somewhere there's a picture of us taking a bath together when we were four. It's cute. I wasn't so fat then, and her nose wasn't so huge. Joanie and I not only grew up together, we grew out together. That's my joke, but I've never told it to her.

A few years ago, when my parents bought a summer house on Rumson Lake, her parents bought one, too. And after that we were together summer and winter. She taught me to dance, but I never danced with anyone except her. We did our homework together. When her father took her mother on a business trip, Joanie stayed at my house.

Joanie and I talked about almost everything; she was a great talker, but only with me. Otherwise she was shy. The only things in the world we didn't talk about were her nose and my fat. When we were alone together I felt thin, and I think she felt pretty. I guess that's why we were such good friends.

"Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, the wheel of fortune is spinning, spinning, spinning. For one thin dime you can win a beautiful doll to call your own." It was Pete Marino himself, as usual dressed in nothing except a little bathing suit and a St. Christopher medal around his neck. He was pointing at us. "Now here's a couple of gamblers. Step right up, folks, you look lucky to me. "

"Let's go try the ringtoss," I said. Muscles like Pete Marino's gave me a stomachache. Cannonball muscles with big blue veins over them. I didn't have any muscles, and my veins were buried in fat.

Joanie slapped a dime on number fourteen.

"I thought six was your lucky number."

"Not anymore. My age is my lucky number now."

"Round and round it goes, where it stops nobody knows," chanted Pete Marino. He was waving his arms at the wheel and doing a little dance. He must have known how all the muscles on his back twitched and jumped under his smooth bronze skin.

"He's not conceited," I said. "He's convinced."

"C'mon, he's very nice," said Joanie. But then she looked at me. "He's not as smart as you, though."

"The wheel is slowing down, soon we'll have a winner. Who's it gonna be?" He turned around, grinning. He had big white teeth, like Chiclets, and curly golden hair. He looked like a movie star. "Who'll be the lucky one?"

One Fat Summer. Copyright © by Robert Lipsyte. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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One Fat Summer 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
KingHN More than 1 year ago
read this book in junior high school so many years ago! it's 1 of my favorites
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was really good i think everyone should look at this author or read one of his books one fat summer is a amazing book
Marcia Scott More than 1 year ago
Upon reading this, I loved it! I read it in about a week and loved every page. It is very descriptive and I felt as if I was right along Bobby, the main character.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book titled One Fat Summer by Robert Lipsyte was one of the best books I have read this quarter. One of the main characters, Bobby, a protagonist, is quite a fluffy kid, but has a kind heart. Another main character is Dr. Kahn, the snooty, rich, estate owner. Lastly, we have Willie, the mega antagonist. Willie is the big jerk who tortures Bobby all summer. The plot consists of an over-weight American boy named Bobby who applies for a job mowing lawns for Dr. Kahn. However, Willie also goes for the job, and is seriously mad that Bobby gets the job instead. Thus, he assumes he now has the right to bully Bobby, and does some heinous things. In the end, it's a win for Bobby, and a deserving loss for Willie. The following weeks, Bobby and parents are out clothes shopping, and Bobby finds out that he lost a whole lot of weight! Maybe that terrible mowing job wasn't so bad after all.? The setting of One Fat Summer is in the season of summer, and in present day. Quite a bit of the story revolves around Rumson Lake and Dr. Kahn's lawn. The theme is something like, "Don't judge people by sight, get to know them beforehand." In my opinion, this story was amazingly well done. I think this because, of all the books I've read, this one, so far, is the only one that has ever been this close to real life. A chubby boy being tortured by some person who thinks they have the right to walk all over him. This story just, it captures the essence of bullying, but a litlt e to much. Let's hope there is never another man like Willie! A connection I've had to deal with is that I was a little chubby when I was around six or so (my grandma fed me too much cookies!), and so I was bullied. But the problem was ceased immediately by the teacher. Another connection is the bullying of the world, along with the wars. Pepole pick fights for no reason at school, and it just reminded me of the bbok, and how not everyone is as brave as Bobby. Related books to this wondorous story are Outcast by Christopher Golden and Thomas E. Sniegoski. Anothwe is Suddenly Supernatural by Elizabeth C. Kimmel. I chose these books because the both featured and "outcast" similar to Bobby, but for very different reasons.
Rstahl More than 1 year ago
Book Review Outline Book title and author: One Big Fat Summer Title of review: Number of stars (1 to 5): 3 Introduction A kid name Bob who's trying lose weight by mowing lawns as well as earning money so people would stop making fun of him. I think this would be a good story for teenagers that are overweight. The author is trying to say every body is different you don't have to be doing what other people do and don't let them get in your head by talking bad about you. Description and summary of main points Bob is a fourteen year old boy who wants' to try to be skinny and able to fit in with his peers. He mows lawns to earn money and to loose weight so he could fit in with others. He wants to make friends and become popular. He to be able to buy thing's that he wants' for him and his friend's. He meet's this old man who try's to help him out of his situation. Evaluation Conclusion Your final review
Guest More than 1 year ago
One Fat Summer, although somewhat dated in places, is a good story about the pressures one kid faces due to his obesity. Written in the 1st person, you get a good sense of what runs through Bobby's mind as he's being taunted and ridiculed by his peers. The ending was satisfying, although there seemed to be some unresolved issues with his parents and sister.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Robert Lipsyte has brought forth into public view yet another masterpiece. 'One Fat Summer' begins in a vacation spot about three hours away from New York City. This place is known as Rumson Lake and is where 200+ pound Robert 'Bobby' Marks is spending the black pit in his year- otherwise known as summer. Bobby has always hated summer, and continued to hate in the beginning, when he was a miserable overly self- concious 14 year old. Then things start to happen. Joanie Miller, Bobby's best friend, has gone back to the city and won't tell him why. Bobby has gotten a job mowing Dr. Kahn's lawn, but is overworked and payed an unfair wage. Michelle and Pete are secretly seeing eachother, and Bobby's parents are suddenly having endless arguements. Most of all, Bobby is being hunted down by a raging psychopath, Willie Rumson. Bobby is about to find out how fat one fat summer could really be.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bobby hates the summer, because he weighs over 200 pounds. Instead of wearing short sleeves and shorts, he wears heavy jackets and long pants to cover his fat. Bobby has to spend his summer at Rumson Lake, which is sure to make his summer horrible. To make it even worse his parents won't stop fighting, and his best friend Joanie goes home to New York City without telling Bobby why. Bobby gets a job mowing Dr.Kahn's lawn, a rich, greedy man who only pays Bobby fifty cents an hour. If Bobby's summer isn't going to be bad enough, a local guy named Willie Rumson who worked at Dr.Kahn's last summer, wants to pay Bobby back for stealing his job. Bobby is not looking forward to this summer at all, but what he doesn't know is that this one fat summer is sure going to change him and his life forever.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Unforgettable Summer The book One Fat Summer is about a guy that is around fourteen years old his name is Gary. He isn¿t really that cool nobody likes him except for his friend. Summer is right around the corner and his friend is leaving for two weeks on vocation. Gary is going to be lonely without his only friend. Gary finds a way to keep busy by getting a summer job. When his friend returns from her vocation she can¿t believe what¿s she¿s seeing. This book is ok in my opinion and I rate it four stars. I recommend this book to people around ages 13- 15 .
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is about a teenage boy named Bobby dealing with the troubles of summer.Now,Bobby is over weight and he only has one friend named Joanie.They won't be spending the summer together because Joanie is going to New York for an 'operation',but she won't tell Bobby what the operation is.Other characters include Michelle 'BObby's sister',Willie,Pete and Mr.and Mrs. Marks.I enjoyed this book it was a very enjoyable book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There is this family that moves to Rumson Lake for the summer and they live in the city during the rest of the year. The main character is Bobby and he is a very big kid and he is about fifteen years old. His dad usually sends him to summer camp, but for once Bobby got out of it and he ends up getting a job. His older sister Michelle is the only one that knows about his job until the end of the book. Having the job helps Booby get more fit and it makes him a lot happier. While Bobby and his family are at Rumson Lake Bobby runs into a lot of trouble with his job and he almost gets killed. At the lake Bobby has a friend named Jonnie and she has something done to, but I am going to let it up to you to find out. At the end of the summer his sister is in love and going off to collage, and Bobbie¿s dad treats him with respect. The book had a lot of interesting things that got me all exited and nerves. One of the things I liked about the book was when Bobby had a gun pointing at because that part was full of excitement and nervousness. Another thing I liked was how bobby got himself a job to make some extra cash and how later on it makes his dad feel proud of him. The book itself was easy to understand what was going and that¿s anther positive. There were something¿s that I did not like about the book and that was when Bobby was called fat or big guy. I didn¿t like it when Bobby was left on an island with no clothes on and he had to sleep in a very dirt hut. I didn¿t like how the book ended either because it left you hang and wondering what is going to happen next. I recommend this book to people who like to read about summer time and who would like to learn more about bulling. This book is not part of a series. The book reminds me of the Bullying movies that we watch at school and what can happen if you do not tell an adult. This is my first book from this author. This is one of my first times I really got into a book.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! This book had a lot of great lessons to be learned such as, to not bully someone just because they're different from you. In this book the main character Bobby Marks is bullied, mainly by Willie Rumson, because he is overweight. Bobby is bullied to the point where he is afraid to be seen without his shirt on. Bobby stands up to this bully and ends up winning the battle, I'm not going to give that away because you'll have to read the book! This novel is a great selection for anyone that wants to learn about the effects that bullying has on people. I loved this book and I hope that you will read and love it too!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this was the best book ever even though i can't relate to the novel i can tell how hard it must have been for bobby. I loved how boby didn't like it when joanie changed her nosie because it showed that it really doesn't matter what you look like one the outsidde but it matters whats on the inside. I love how bobby finally stuck up for himself and how even thpought terrable things happened to himn that he still kept his job even thought that is what got him into all of that mess. he even showed his dad that he was more then just FAT because that is all his father ever thought he was and all he would be. With the help of his mother and his best friend Joanie he made it throught that summer with a smile on in the end. He also was more cofmorable with himself and he learned that it didn't matter what he lookde like. This was fabulous and i would deffinatlly read again.XOXOXOX READ IT XOXOXOX. It's great!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i am 13 5 feet tall and weigh 298 pounds. people dont understand what its like to be like me and Robert. u dont have to be fat to love this book! it will help u understand how har it is to be so overweight
Guest More than 1 year ago
One Fat Summer is a book about a young boy named Bobby Marks and a girl Named Joanie... Mark and Joanie are the two main characters...they are boyfriend and girlfriend... I would reccomend this book to people who think they are over weight
Guest More than 1 year ago
i really enjoyed this book...and for many reasons! the main character- Robert Marks a.k.a bob marks, big bad bob, etc. has a real personality that many people including myself can relate to. the author did a really good job of making people able to relate to him...and not just making him who people 'want' to be. during the book, he had many difficulties along the way (e.g. problems with his family, his best friend Joanie, his new job from Dr. Kahn, and the biggest problem of all - Willie Smith.) As this book goes on you start to notice changes throughout everyone- including a major one from Bob... I really recommend reading this book if you like realistic stories and ones that you will always remember!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing. If I had a choice to read this book again I would. It is about a kid named Robert (who is fat) and has to watch out for Wille Rumson because Robert took his job.