________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 5 . . . .October 27, 2006


Stuffed. (Orca Soundings).

Eric Walters.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2006.
108 pp., pbk. & cl., $9.95 (pbk), $16.95 (cl.).
ISBN 1-55143-500-4 (pbk.), ISBN 1-55143-519-5 (cl.).

Subject Headings:
Boycotts-Juvenile fiction.
Student movements-Juvenile fiction.
Electronic mail messages-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 5-8 / Ages 10-13.

Review by Georgie Perigny.

**** /4



“To begin with, it’s not realistic to expect people to never, ever eat at Frankie’s again,” I said.

“I don’t see why not!” Julia argued.

“There are lots of reasons. Sometimes there’s no other place to eat, or that’s the place where you father wants to go to eat, or maybe because, let’s face it, some of their food just tastes good.”

“If poison tasted good would you eat it?” Julia questioned.

“Probably only once,” I admitted. “But lots of people like Frankie’s. They probably have the best fries around. Even Oswald would agree with that,” I said, gesturing to him.

His eyes widened and his mouth dropped open. I didn’t know if he was feeling afraid or confused. Maybe he was confused about why he was so afraid of Julia.

“Come on, Oswald, just answer the question... honestly.”

“Well…they have pretty good fries.”

Julia shot him a look and then folded her arms across her chest. Obviously she’d let go of his hand. Maybe that’s what he was afraid of.

“So,” I said, cutting through the tension,"what is realistic is to ask people to eat less at Frankie’s or to make Frankie’s change the food they serve.”


After watching Stuffed, a documentary about how overeating at a popular fast-food chain was making people overweight, unhealthy and sick, high school student Ian Cheevers didn’t believe that what he saw on the screen would have a huge impact on his life. After all, Frankie’s triple bacon cheeseburger melt was still his favourite burger, and Frankie’s did serve great tasting food. What harm was there in eating something that tastes good? On the other hand, his friend, Julia strongly opposes eating at Frankie’s and is appalled that not everyone has the same opinion. It isn’t until Ian is chatting with his friends on MSN about the in-class documentary that his perspective on the topic begins to change. While procrastinating from working on a computer science assignment about how email can contribute to mass communication, Ian suddenly has a brainwave. What if he and several of his friends emailed everyone on their contact list and proposed that for one day everyone stop eating at Frankie’s? If people refrained from eating at Frankie’s for one day, then perhaps this would cause the franchise to reconsider their choices of food and provide healthier alternatives. Would it be realistic to deter people from eating at Frankie’s for one day? Ian’s decision to make a positive and healthy difference creates controversy when Frankie’s decide to sue the person behind the scandal. To make matters worse, Frankie’s is willing to provide their great tasting fast food lunch to everyone in the entire high school if Ian would agree to call off the proposal. Ian do is not sure what he should do. Should he reconsider or stand up for what he believes in?

     Stuffed, a fascinating book written by Eric Walters, is about morals, values and integrity, and it accentuates the fact that it takes only one person to make a difference. Although the book is fiction, it is convincing and captivating. The language and pace of the book is appropriate for the intended audience and is a must purchase for all classroom or school libraries.

      Eric Walters is an elementary teacher, coach, and a crisis social worker. These experiences allow him to write books that are of great interest and meaningful to juvenile readers. Walters keeps the readers interested by writing about current issues that are influencing society. The documentary Super Size Me inspired Eric Walters to write Stuffed.

Highly Recommended.

Georgie Perigny is a Grade 6 teacher at River Valley School in Sundre, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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