Fat Kid Rules the World

  • Theme:

    Moral Struggle-Choosing to do the right thing

    Search for Identity


    Suicide-Obesity-Drug Abuse-Relationships




    Fat Kid Rules the World              
    by K.L. Going
    G.P. Putnam's Sons
    ISBN: 0-399-23990-1
    Ages 8 and up

    183 pages


    Gr. 8-12. His name is Troy, but to the world--and in his internal dialogues--he is the Fat Kid. Really Fat. Almost 300 pounds of sweating, unhappy insecurity. Then out of a moment of despair comes magic. As Troy considers whether to splatter himself on a subway track, Curt MacCrae, a charismatic punk rocker/homeless kid/dropout, comes along and stops him. For the price of a meal, Curt befriends Troy, and he sees something under all those layers: a potential musician, a friend, and someone with the ability to see through life's bull. First-time novelist Going has put together an amazing assortment of characters. Troy is the ultimate fat kid, the kind whose every move, every thought is predicated on what it is like to wear a coat of blubber. Curt, as thin as Troy is fat, is a combination of Kurt Cobain, Ratso Rizzo, and a fairy godfather. He sprinkles Troy with the dirt and grime of punk rock and brings out the prince hiding inside the weight (to the book's credit, Troy doesn't get any thinner). Equally well drawn are the lesser characters, including Troy's father, a former Marine with an innate sense of what kids need. The narrative could have been tighter in places, but this is an impressive debut that offers hope for all kids--gross transmuted into gold.


    Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going

    Study and Discussion Questions


    After reading the book answer these questions fully and completely.  During the first week of school we will have a Socratic Book Discussion about the summer reading.

    1. Is coming into contact with Curt good or bad for Troy?
    2. Does coming into contact with Curt  make any change at all for Troy ?
    3. What did you think of Troy's relationship with his father?
    4. Describe Troy’s relationship with his brother?
    5. Did Troy’s relationships with his father and brother influence Troy's other relationships? If yes, how so?
    6. Was Troy real to you?
    7. What was your first reaction to Curt?
    8. Did you change how you felt about Curt as the story progressed?
    9. Why do you think Curt was so popular with the other kids?
    10. Why did Troy do whatever Curt said?
    11. What did being in the band mean to Troy?
    12.  What did performing mean to Troy and to Curt?
    13. Several of the characters experience change in this book. What were some of those changes? Which ones seemed the most significant to you?
    14. What do you think happens to Curt and Troy after the book ends?
    1. Sometimes characters in young adult books get into trouble because they don't do the things adults want or expect them to do. Troy always tries to do what his dad tells him to do. Does this cause problems for Troy?