Eliza Bing Is (Not) a Big, Fat Quitter

Eliza Bing Is (Not) a Big, Fat Quitter by Carmella Van Vleet is a nominee for the 2016-17 South Carolina Children’s Book Award.

Eliza Bing, a young girl who struggles with ADHD, needs to prove to her parents that she’s not a quitter. It’s the only way they’ll let her enroll in her dream cake-decorating class at the community center. But how can she convince them? Well, Eliza comes up with the idea of taking her brother’s spot in the center’s taekwondo class. If she can stick with the class all summer, surely that will show her parents that she can handle the class she really wants to take.

Eliza’s parents agree to the deal, but Eliza may have bitten off more than she can chew. Taekwondo requires a lot of focus, and that’s not exactly Eliza’s strong suit, especially when she’s also thinking about the growing distance between her and her friend Tony, starting middle school, and pairing up with Madison, a girl that hasn’t exactly been super-nice to Eliza.

More than once, Eliza wants to give up, but she’s determined to see this class through. She wants to prove to everyone–including herself–that she can be truly dedicated to something.

Will Eliza achieve her goal and finally be allowed to attend the cake-decorating class…or will she find that she’s actually landed exactly where she needs to be?

Eliza Bing Is (Not) a Big, Fat Quitter is a great book for illustrating such character traits as risk-taking, perseverance, and self-confidence. It is also an excellent look at what many students with ADHD face each day. Eliza’s voice is both charming and totally believable, and this character could help some students see themselves in fiction and others to be a little more empathetic to their classmates.

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