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Dumplin' 3

by Julie Murphy
Age range: 14+ years old Publication Date: 26/08/2015
4/5 Rating 3 Reviews
RRP  $17.99 $15.75

Willowdean Dickson (Dumplin', to her mum) has always been at home in her own skin.

Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Really, the criteria is simple. Do you have a body? Put a swimsuit on it. But life as Willlow knows it is about to change, and when this happens she suffers an unaccustomed, and unwelcome, attack of self-doubt. In an effort to take back her confidence, she enters into the local Miss Teen Blue Bonner beauty pageant.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs and a wildly unforgettable heroine - Dumplin' is guaranteed to steal your heart. And send you out to buy that bikini!

General fiction (Children's / Teenage)
Age range:
14+ years old
Publication Date:
Penguin Australia Pty Ltd
Dimensions (mm):
Julie Murphy

Julie Murphy lives in North Texas with her husband, who loves her; her dog, who adores her; and her cats, who tolerate her. After several wonderful years in the library world, Julie now writes full-time.

When she's not writing or reliving her reference desk glory days, she can be found watching made-for-TV movies, hunting for the perfect slice of cheese pizza, or planning her next great travel adventure.

She is also the author of the young adult novels, Puddin', Ramona Blue, Side Effects May Vary, and Dumplin' (now a Netflix original film). This is her first book for middle-grade readers.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

4 / 5 (3 Ratings)
5 stars (0)
4 stars (2)
3 stars (1)
2 stars (0)
1 stars (0)
  • Fabulous

    by on

    Willowdean is my hero. She’s authentic, refreshing, brave and has a wicked sense of humor. Her internal struggles with body image is completely relatable and her acceptance is empowering. Murphy has delivered a fabulous and complex novel about relationships, acceptance and growing up.

  • A Realistic Take on Body Image

    by on

    I think perhaps my expectations were slightly too high for this one. The main reason I was disappointed was that the book ended up being kind of typical rather than the fresh take on body image I expected it to be, with the whole beauty contest ending up being a relatively minor part of the plot.

    I also didn't really like Willowdean as a character. Of course, it was clear that she was made to be flawed on purpose, making her a much more realistic character, but that certainly didn't make her particularly likeable. I could forgive most things about her, but for the way she treated one of the characters. I mean, just because you have some issues of your own, that doesn't really excuse you from treating others badly, and the way that Willowdean treats that character really didn't sit well with me.

    That being said, Will definitely was an intriguing character- she's incredibly sassy, and most of the time appears accepting of her own weight. At the same time, she does have her insecurities about her body image, most evident when she's suspicious about why Bo, a good looking coworker, seems to like her. Her insecurities also lead to her having a bit of a falling out with her best friend Ellen, who Will thinks is a lot prettier and skinnier than her. While I thought Will was being a bit unreasonable here, there's no doubt that she acted in a realistic way, especially when it came to her trying to make amends with Ellen.

    Overall, Dumplin' was definitely a pro-body image novel that realistically examines the issues and insecurities that come with being overweight. Despite not enjoying it as much as I expected, I'd definitely still recommend that you give it a read.

  • Outshines Toddlers & Tiaras

    by on

    What a great book! Willowdean is an awesome protagonist, with real feelings and concerns that will resonate, in some way, with every reader. She's charming and sassy and fabulous and fat, and doesn't let anyone (except sometimes herself) tell her otherwise. Her venture into the elusive world of pageantry is hilarious and inspiring, and I found myself feeling proud of this wonderful character for her wit and confidence despite her doubt.
    It's a light Eleanor & Park-esque book, with the writing style of Morgan Matson and a little bit of John Green. I loved it; definitely worth the read!