Narrated By: Tai Sammons
Duration: 9 hours and 57 minutes
What to expect
Judy Lohden is your above-average sixteen-year-old: sarcastic and vulnerable, talented and uncertain, full of big dreams for a big future. With a singing voice that can shake an auditorium, she should be the star of Darcy Arts Academy, the local performing arts high school. So why is a girl this promising hiding out in a seedy motel room on the edge of town?
The fact that the national media is on her trail after a controversy that might bring down the whole school could have something to do with it. And that scandal has something—but not everything—to do with the fact that Judy is three feet nine inches tall.
Rachel DeWoskin remembers everything about high school: the auditions (painful), the parents (hovering), the dissection projects (compelling), the friends (outcasts), the boys (crushable), and the girls (complicated), and she lays it all out with a wit and wistfulness that is half Holden Caulfield, half Lee Fiora, Prep’s ironic heroine. Big Girl Small is a scathingly funny and moving book about dreams and reality, at once light on its feet and unwaveringly serious.
Fiction: general and literary, Narrative theme: Coming of age
Listen to a sample
“I loved reading Big Girl Small as much as I loved watching The Breakfast Club for the first time. Is Rachel DeWoskin our new John Hughes?”
“The voice of Judy Lohden will ring in my head for weeks to come. A first page so funny and fierce I read it aloud to my teenagers—in public…Judy Lohden speaks for all young people facing the unspeakable ignorance of others. Yet Rachel DeWoskin handles the story with the sensitivity of a scalpel and a humor that leaves the reader howling. I was delighted and moved.”
“Daring…It’s a rare author who is willing to subject her protagonist to the extreme ranges of degradation and redemption to which DeWoskin subjects Judy; thankfully, she manages it beautifully.”
“The layering in of what it feels like to be seen as disabled gives an old story line new depth. Sure to appeal to fans of coming-of-age fiction and readers who enjoyed DeWoskin’s acclaimed memoir, Foreign Babes in Beijing, and her debut novel, Repeat after Me.”
“DeWoskin deftly captures the often vicious dynamics of adolescents, which mask their fragility, and creates in Judy an unforgettable character, one who is, by turns, sardonic and heartbreakingly vulnerable.”
“DeWoskin creates a compelling voice for Judy and performs neat literary magic, confronting the stereotypes of teen fiction even as she uses them to pull the readers’ heartstrings.”
“Big Girl Small is the most engaging novel I’ve read in many years. DeWoskin has aimed the book at all the pleasure centers: it’s sad, funny, quirkily suspenseful, and—most of all—beautiful. I can’t imagine a more satisfying read. A book for anyone, anywhere, who’s ever felt alien or different. That is, a book for everyone.”
“Witty, intuitive, and moving, Big Girl Small examines the crucial moment when we either listen to what the world says and stay small, or dare to sing out at the top of our lungs.”