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Big Girl Small



Awards: ALA Alex Awards Winner (Adult for Young Adults)

Listen: Maureen Corrigan reviews Big Girl Small on Fresh Air (Duration: 5:58)
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About The Author

Rachel DeWoskinRachel DeWoskin

Rachel DeWoskin is the author of Foreign Babes in Beijing, a memoir about her inadvertent notoriety as the star of a Chinese soap opera, and a novel, Repeat After Me. She lives in New York City and Beijing and is at work on her fourth book, Statutory.

photo: © Anne Li

Awards

ALA Alex Awards Winner (Adult for Young Adults)

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Reading Group Gold

About this Guide
The following author biography and list of questions about Big Girl Small are intended as resources to aid individual readers and book groups who would like to learn more about the author and this book. We hope that this guide will provide you a starting place for discussion, and suggest a variety of perspectives from which you might approach Big Girl Small.

About the Book
Judy Lohden is your above-average sixteen-year-old, with a voice that can shake an auditorium. She should be the star of Darcy Academy, so why is she hiding in a seedy motel room? Perhaps, it has something to do with a devastating scandal—and the fact that Judy is three feet nine inches tall. With a wit and wistfulness that is half Holden Caulfield, half Lee Fiora, Prep’s ironic heroine. Big Girl Small is a scathingly funny book about dreams and reality, at once light on its feet and profound.

About the Author
Rachel DeWoskin
is the author of Foreign Babes in Beijing, a memoir about her notoriety as the star of a Chinese soap opera, and Repeat After Me.

1. Discuss Judy’s attitude about life as an LP? Did her attitude surprise you? Have you ever personally known an LP?

2. Judy comes to the conclusion that “suffering isn’t relative.” What does this mean to you, and do you agree?

3. Is Judy a reliable narrator? In what ways might her perception of reality be slightly distorted? What do you make of her assessment of Kyle, before and after his actions are revealed?

4. Judy faces many adolescent hardships throughout the novel, but also the thrill of many “firsts”. Is Judy perhaps afraid to grow up? What do you make of Sarah’s assertion that the brain becomes less “exuberant” in adulthood?

5. When Judy hears that Ginger may have spread a nasty rumor, she muses: “Can you really define a whole person by one cruel thing she does?” What do you think?

6. Ginger is an enigmatic character, she defies categorization. Why do you think Sarah and Judy’s mother dislike her? How do you feel about her, did she ultimately surprising you?

7. Does Judy’s musical talent draw attention away from her physical stature? Along those lines, why is there such a difference between feeling different and feeling special?

8. Sarah is incredibly loyal to Judy, even though Judy does not always appreciate it. Have you ever had a friend like that, or ever been a friend like that to someone?

9. Judy never discovers who initiated the scandalous videotaping, nor who was responsible for leaking it. Would you want to know if you were in the same situation? Would you have prosecuted?

10. How do you think Judy’s family handled the scandal and its fall-out? Which part of it do you think was the most difficult for them?

11. How do lessons from Ms. Doman’s English class help Judy to cope with her experience?

12. What makes Bill such an ideal friend for Judy at the motel?

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