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Big Girl Small is a novel for mothers and daughters; for every girl who is, or was, a teenager. Everybody needs a friend like Judy. She is whip-smart, hilarious, and her story is so real. She’s a wonderful singer, full of big dreams for a big future—and she’s a dwarf. But why is she hiding out in a seedy motel on the edge of town? Who are her friends? And why can’t she face her family?
Big Girl Small is a gut-wrenching teen-tragedy told with laugh-out-loud humour. Every reader will recognise the anxiety of trying to be different, to be the same, to find out who you are and what your hormones are doing, and what you might want to do in the future. Most of us don’t really know, and this brave novel shows us that’s just fine.
Reminiscent of Prep and Middlesex, the novel is told by Judy Lohden, a teenage girl with a big singing talent who is accepted to an elite high school of the dramatic arts—and who, as a dwarf, or little person, is keenly aware of how difficult it will be to have the same life as her new friends. As she observes, she’d probably make the cut for American Idol except for the fact that ‘Simon Cowell laughs at all the retards and deformed people.’ Soon she finds herself drawn into a scandal that will rock the school, her family, and their hometown.
So I wrote the book, and it turned out to be a story not so much about being a dwarf, but one about being a teenage girl. Because I think most teenagers feel small; Judy has an external manifestation of an internal feeling we all have.
Read an interview with Rachel in the [Sunday Star Times](http://(http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/features/4973689/Big-ideas) or take a look at her answers to Booktopia’s Ten Terrifying Questions.
Watch an interview with Rachel talking about her book with Galleysmith.
And for something a little different read Rachel’s music playlist selection for Big Girl Small on Largehearted Boy’s blog. It’s an eclectic mix of songs from Def Leppard to Ella Fitzgerald and more…
DeWoskin’s daring third book … takes on sexual politics, physical beauty, pity, and violence, and succeeds in giving readers a nuanced and provocative treatment without descending into pedantics or hysteria.
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.
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.
[Judy Lohden’s] sarcastic humour and merciless outsider’s gaze make her a winning narrator…DeWoskin’s Big Girl Small is a remarkable achievement…an engaging and funny tale of growing up different that would not be out of place on the same shelf [as Middlesex].