For Kids and Their Grown-Ups: “Starfish” by Lisa Fipps

Review by Laura Frantz, collection development librarian

Ellie loves swimming. Her backyard pool is a refuge. Here, she feels weightless and can spread out as much as she wants. Because in all other aspects of her life, she is bullied about her weight and has been made to believe she should not be noticed, not take up space and not have a voice.

Unfortunately, some of the worst fat shaming she experiences is at home with her family. But things are about to change when next-door neighbor Catalina moves in and Ellie starts attending therapy sessions with Dr. Wood. They become her allies and help Ellie find her strength and her voice, particularly when it comes to her family.

This amazing and powerful story by debut author Lisa Fipps is helping to usher in a body positivity movement in youth literature. Written in verse, this middle grade novel should spark a lot of candid conversations. Fipps is telling a much-needed story that will resonate with readers long after they finish the book.