Bobby Marks hates the summertime. Every summer, Bobby’s family heads out to their annual vacation in the resort town of Runson Lake, where the most popular activity is laying out at the beach. As for Bobby, he’d much rather hide his huge body away under layers of winter clothing, since his obesity makes him an easy target for bullies. Bobby’s attitude takes a sudden change once he goes to work as a landscaper for the crotchety old Mr. Kahn, when he finds that mowing lawns and trimming hedges out in the hot sun has caused him to start sweating off his excess pounds. Yeah, things are really looking up for Bobby Marks….at least until he runs into an angry local teen who swears that Bobby has stolen his job!
I absolutely loved the chance to disappear into the world of the 1950s, when kids could walk to the beach by themselves and parents only got worried if they weren’t home before the streetlights came on. There were no cell phones or text messages back then, so there was no way to call home if you were running behind. Most kids had a set curfew for when they were expected to be home, and it was a huge deal if they stayed out too late. The rest of the time, though, kids had a whole lot more freedom than they do today, so it’s no surprise that Bobby has plenty of room to get into his own kind of trouble!
The thing that I enjoyed the most about this book was the way that the author described how both Bobby and his best friend, Joanie, were particularly sensitive about the flaws in their appearances. All it took was some regular exercise for Bobby to start losing weight, but Joanie is cursed with an enormous nose. What exactly is she supposed to do about that?
What about you? Do you spend much time thinking about how you look? Are you happy with every part of your own body, or is there anything that you would change if you had the chance?