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Ralph and Sylvia Nebula and their friend Mavis Goldfarb are bitter at being sent to a bogus weight-loss camp, so they decide to escape and find a way to take revenge on those responsible for promoting the idea that thin is better.
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When Ralph and Sylvia Nebula's pudgy parents get suckered into sending their chubby offspring to fat camp, the siblings first get angry--then they get revenge. Along with their feisty, sociopolitically savvy new friend, Mavis Goldfarb, they flee the bogus camp, where rattlesnakes run amok in the dried-up lake and clear-cut woods and inmates are forced to take classes in Creative Abuse and Motivation. (Lectures by Camp Noo Yoo owner, Dick Tator, run something like this: "Here's what you have to look forward to as a fat adult... People laugh at you in the street, insult you, and throw doughnuts at you. You lose your job collecting dead skunks for the Fish and Wildlife Service, because you're too fat. You wind up in prison for stealing pumpkin pies from the postdated pie store the day after Thanksgiving.") Disgusted by the absurdity and prejudice at camp, the three declare war on culturally supported chauvinism, and spend the rest of the summer hiding out in Mavis's house while her parents are away. Armed with biting wit and a fine-tuned sense of injustice, the friends alter billboards, heckle Junior Weight Whippers speakers, and entrap the local fat-quack doctor in his own lies on a call-in radio show. It's not until a cop nabs them at one of their commando activities that their careers as undercover social reform activists are redirected--into an equally productive and empowering (and far more legal) channel.
Daniel Pinkwater's legions of passionate fans will jump up and down for joy at his latest wacky, right-on-target story. Pinkwater, known for his National Public Radio commentaries, as well as his many kids' book titles (The Hoboken Chicken Emergency, Lizard Music, 4 Fantastic Novels, 5 Novels, and the Werewolf Club series), never, ever shies away from controversial, weird, or eccentric topics, for which we are very grateful. By the way, there is no miraculous skinny finale in Fat Camp Commandos, thank goodness--the kids end the story fit, healthy, and as pleasingly plump as ever. (Ages 8 to 12) --Emilie CoulterExcerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Noo Yoo is a fat camp. The campers wear three layers of sweatsuits when they play softball, to sweat off those pounds. There are compulsory aerobics three times a day. There are Creative Abuse and Motivation classes three nights a week. There are special diet meals‹(remember the shredded carrots and raisins?) The idea is that Mommy and Daddy¹s pudgy darling goes off to camp a little butterball, and comes back a fashion model. This had never happened once, but people send their kids anyway.
I am Ralph Nebula. My sister, Sylvia, is another Noo Yoo camper. It all started on Anti-Fat Day in Pokooksie, New York, our hometown. Anti-Fat Day is a local holiday in Pokooksie.
Anti-Fat Day in Pokooksie is nearly as big as Halloween. The regular citizens all try to get the fat citizens to go on diets and become thin citizens. They do this because thin is better, and they love their fat fellow-citizens. They express this love by having a fat-parade. They will pelt you with cream-filled doughnuts if you¹re fat, and call you names. This is because they love you. It strikes me as strange that most of the so-called thin citizens of Pokooksie are not all that thin. I¹d say the average Pokooksian is above average when it comes to weight. The average Pokooksian is below average in most other respects.
Anti-Fat Day was started by a Dr. Frizzbender, and Dick Tator (who else?). Dick Tator hired kids to pass out fact sheets about Camp Noo Yoo, and my mother got one. The next thing I knew, my mother and father, and sister Sylvia and I were in the community room of the Pokooksie Motel, listening to Dick Tator talk about the camp. And there was a special speaker, Dick Tator¹s personal hero, Simon Primly. Simon Primly is a famous weight-loss guy. He goes around and finds people who have gotten so fat they can¹t get out the door, and he prays with them, and sings to them, and hugs them, and feeds them shredded carrots, until they are all skinny and perfect, and then he shows them off. Simon Primly gave a speech.
³People! You are SO fortunate to have a man like Dick Tator in your community. I mean SO fortunate! Because Dick Tator cares about you! Dick Tator loves you! Dick Tator especially cares about your unhappy, fat little children! Looking around the room, I see so many round, fat, unhappy children. They are going to grow up miserable. They will be hated. They will become stupid. And many of them will turn to crime. Why? Because that is what happens to fat people. I don¹t want your children to be fat stupid criminals, hated by everyone. Look! I¹m crying, I¹m so sincere! Sign your kids up for Camp Noo Yoo. Even if you can¹t afford it‹you have to do this‹ it¹s . . . for . . . the . . . children.²
This is Ralph speaking again. Simon Primly got so worked up that he had to wipe his nose with the hem of his athletic shirt, which gave the crowd a look at his hairy tummy ‹ which was a little fat. I thought he was a raving maniac. I am fat, and so is my sister, Sylvia, also our mother and father. None of us are stupid. Nobody hates us. And I never thought about turning to crime until Simon Primly mentioned it.
My mother was crying. My father was crying. Sylvia and I were crying, too, but for different reasons.
³How could we let this happen?² my mother blubbered. ³Our children are fat!²
³I know! I know!² my father wailed.
³This is silly,² I said. ³You are fat yourselves. It¹s the way we are.²
³We have to save them! We have to sign them up for Camp Noo Yoo!²
There was no reasoning with them. That Simon Primly is very motivational. Forward in time: The peaceful little hamlet of Mountainburg. The Noo Yoo campers are tucked in their beds, dreaming of fried dough. All is quiet except for the faint sound of chickens practicing on electric keyboards. In the farmhouse right next to the camp, Ma Tator is serving fried chicken to her husband Pa, and their boys, Dick, Bud, and Spud. Besides the fried chicken, there are mashed potatoes with butter, mashed turnips with butter, mashed squash with butter, corn on the cob with butter and salt and pepper, creamed spinach with butter, dumplings, fritters, biscuits, rolls, apple pie, cherry pie, rhubarb pie, blueberry pie, and cups of coffee‹ with butter. The good smells of the kitchen waft through the cabins, and cause the campers to twitch in their sleep.
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Book Description Demco Media, 2002. Condition: Fair. Former Library book. Shows definite wear, and perhaps considerable marking on inside. Seller Inventory # GRP69212817