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The Summer I Lost It
The Summer I Lost It
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Award Winners Reviewed Titles

The Summer I Lost It

Kat is just like other fourteen-year-old girls. Except that this summer, she's taking charge of her life and finally losing weight. But can she do it?

PublisherStone Arch Books
Age Level10-14 Years
Reading LevelGrades 4-8
GenreRealistic Fiction
Trim Size5 x 7
Page Count128



Storybound Girl blog - Sarah

"I went into this expecting to follow her to fat camp, as stated in the synopsis, but that's not what happened. It's decided very early on that she's staying home for the summer, and the book is her journal as she works to get fit on her own utilizing a gym membership and better eating habits. I really would've liked the trip to summer camp. Because the pages are filled with her thoughts through a journal, there isn't a whole lot of external plot going on. She's overweight, and works to lose weight. She wishes she had a boyfriend, and thinks she doesn't because of her weight. That said, I did like how and when the potential love interest was introduced. She didn't get super skinny and hook up with the hottest boy in school as a result, and I can appreciate that. THE SUMMER I LOST IT reads like a real life account of a young girl trying to get fit. I can't imagine that someone without weight issues would be able to relate to Kat much, but do think that a girl considering making changes like Kat would enjoy the read and it could work almost like a self-help book. However, I suppose the girl would have to find the book on her own, as I don't think it's one I'd gift to any pre-teens because I'd be too worried about sending the message that I think they're fat. The back of the book contains healthy breakfast and snack ideas, and a few recipes to help young readers dive into healthy eating." - Storybound Girl blog

July 28, 2011 - Amanda Rollins

"Cute, quick read about a 14 year old girl who decides to lose weight during her summer vacation. Told through her journal, Kat joins a gym, changes the way she eats, and even finds a boyfriend who likes her for who she is. Kat shares tips to be healthier and even some favorite recipes. I particularly enjoyed how Kat motivated herself to lose weight, not depending on others to help her - though her family were supportive of her efforts. I also enjoyed how Kat's self-esteem improved as she met her weight loss goals. The story was very believable and would be an excellent addition to a middle school library." -

June 6, 2011


NetGalley - Davelle Sauva

"I could really relate to this story (The Summer I lost it). Being not just fat but in the category of “obese” is really hard to subjugate, especially if you want to do things you can’t do because of your situation. I have a classmate with this kind of situation, kids tried to make fun of her, people stared at her like she’s some kind of a specimen and not a human being, and it’s really bothering me and sometimes annoying. Reading this book is really a wake up call for everyone who’s in this same situation, that you have to change for the better. Kat, our protagonist showed us her eagerness to transform, to have a healthy life. At first, she wanted to change for her crush, Josh, because she wanted to wear swimsuit and someone who could dance her. But as she changed herself, she realizes that she shouldn’t do those things for others but for herself, and soon achieved her dreamsJ. The story was easy to embrace, and you will absolutely learn something from this story. I hope you’ll try to read this book!" - NetGalley

September 8, 2011

Reading Between the Lines blog - Sahinio

"The Summer I Lost It was a quick and easy read, something you can just lounge around during the summer and read with a smile on your face. It simply deals with a young teenage girl, Kat, who is self conflicted about her weight and how this affects how people see her. She wants what today every teenage dreams of, cliché as it is, it’s something that will make her feel fulfilled. She wants to be skinny, pretty, and have a boyfriend. She believes that the way to achieve this is to lose weight and so begins our main characters struggle to become the person she dreams of being. As serious as the issue of self-esteem and weight loss is, the author light heartedly puts into play the simple rule needed to lose weight – eat healthy and work out. Kat’s parents rejection for her to go to fat camp, shows how you don’t need to pay expensive programmes in order to lose weight and we see this as Kat embraces the idea to do it herself, through weight plan, healthy eating, gym, and a nutritional chart. Bit by bit, we see how she transforms from what she believes to be a chubby child, into a girl who is confident in her own body. This is seen through diary like entries which pin point her thoughts, events and how this shapes her. It’s a beautiful read and not too hard on the brain and it encompasses the beauty of loving who are (: This book is for anyone, so go grab it now!" - Reading Between the Lines blog

August 3, 2011


Crowding the Book Truck - Caroline

"I approached this book hesitantly, not quite sure what I would find, but it turns out there was a lot that I liked about this book. I liked how it established that Kat was in fact overweight (15 pounds away from being not obese), and that was established by a doctor. In fact, doctors, nutritionists, and even personal trainers were frequently name-checked as people to talk to when you want to lose weight sensibly and responsibly. Kat shares her plans with her parents and doesn't do it in secret. Yes, she might initially want to do it partly because of a boy, but it's more complicated than that and actually tied into her feelings about her self-image and self-worth. Losing weight is presented more as a part of living a healthy life than how important it is to be thin. I was worried that the book might be too preachy, but it wasn't (the closest it came to that is when Kat describes what she's eating and the calorie count of that and a high-calorie 'regular' meal appears in a bubble on the page). The story is told through Kat's journal entries and at just over 100 pages, it's a very streamlined story with few-to-no subplots or other storylines. There are also some recipes and meal plan ideas at the back of the book. I do want to see more fiction that focuses on people who are fat and where the story doesn't focus on losing weight, but I think there's also a place for a book like this." - Crowding the Book Truck

August 2, 2011

Scattered Figments blog - Laura

"This is a difficult one to review because, athough I enjoyed it and found it inspiring, I wonder if it's for everyone. I suppose there is a part of me which questioned whether the lucky slim girls of the world would really care to read this. The weight-obsessed (like me) would like it though. I found I could identify with Kat. She has body issues that I think a lot of YAs and women could identify with. She never feels pretty, her weight is slowly becoming her life, she feels that in being a few lbs overweight she is therefore some kind of failure. Kat inspired me. She takes her health and lifestyle into her own hands and transforms her life through willpower and effort. The book is well written in the first-person epistolary form, which allowed empathy for the main character to be created. The book is very short, which meant that there wasn't really much room for many plot twists or subtext. Still, I felt that this was never meant to be a narrative-driven text. At 112 pages, The Summer I Lost It reads more like an inspiring self-help text than a YA fiction. When I read the synopsis, I wasn't sure how I felt about a YA book which was about weightloss. I worried that it might put too much emphasis on being "skinny" in order to "get the guy". This book wasn't like that at all. Kat isn't interested in being skinny; she wants to be healthy and to feel better about herself. She wants to know that she is in control of her eating habits and not the other way around. TEENY TINY SPOILER ALERT I liked that when Kat did meet a guy, he fell for her while she was wearing her gym clothes, all sweaty after a workout. It emphasised the idea that it was her energy and her healthy mentality that drew him to her, not the fact that she was losing weight. Overall, this is a motivational read that might not have the most detailed or plot-driven story, but it does have some great messages about beauty being something you need to believe before anyone else can see it. Oh, and it'll make you think long and hard about picking up that bar of chocolate! 3 ½ STARS" - Scattered Figments blog

June 18, 2011


Say It Rah-shay blog - Rachee

"One of my reading guilty pleasures are transformation books. I am a total sucker for books in which the main character transforms from ugly duckling, whether real or imagined, to beautiful swan. The transformation doesn't always have to be physical; it can be the awareness that the character develops to evolve into a better person but if there is some physical component to it then I voraciously tear through the book.   I've just finished "The Summer I Lost It" by Natalie Kath and it was quick, feel good read. Fourteen year old Kat is overweight and thinks that summer at a fat camp will be what she needs to do lose weight. Instead her parents gift her with a gym membership and as Kat gradually gets in shape she begins to understand that exercise and a better diet are key to weight loss and the transformation she seeks. Also, during her physical transformation she begins to develop more positive thoughts about herself and makes choices that she would have never made before.   The book is part fiction, part self help guide. As a person who's teen years were spent struggling to be someone else, this book doesn't send the message that you have to be a certain size to be happy. Although Kat initially thinks that she would have a boyfriend or that her life would be better if she were thinner, she comes to learn that her personality and who she is mentally trumps what she looks like.   The book doesn't shame readers into feeling bad about the way they look or preach to readers that Kat's method is the best method. This book offers Kat's solution, in the form of a diary, and takes readers along for the ride. Now, I will totally contradict myself by also saying that Kat's method to lose weight DOES seem to happen quite easily but this could totally be my own prejudices coming through.   Although the protagonist has to lose weight, I think this book will appeal to anyone who wants to be healthy. The advice is simple but not unsafe or preachy. As a mom of a tween I would be comfortable letting her read this book and following some of the advice that is shared. One thing I really liked was the cheat sheet that is recommended: write 5 things that make you feel good to keep you on track. I like that. Another way to reinforce that change is something that comes from within and not from a number on a scale.   What say you? Adults and tweens? I'm getting ready to write my five,   -Rachee" - Say It Rah-shay blog

August 29, 2011

Judge the Cover Book Reviews blog - Ashley

"Being fourteen years old is hard enough for Kat without having to worry about being overweight. Tired of feeling badly about herself, Kat decides that this summer she is going to do something about it. When her initial plan of attending “fat camp” falls through because her parents cannot afford to send her there, Kat doesn’t let that stop her. Instead, she joins the gym and changes her eating habits. Though losing weight isn’t easy, Kat never gives up and learns some important life lessons along the way.   The Summer I Lost It is a great motivational book for pre-teen girls who may be struggling with their weight. I received this book from NetGalley as an ARC. It is a really quick read, but contains a strong message. For Kat, it’s not just about losing weight however she can so she can look like everyone else; it’s about liking who she is as a person, improving her self-esteem, and losing weight the healthy way. I would recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with their weight. The Summer I Lost It is not only entertaining, but also a guide on how to lose weight the healthy way. There are even recipes at the end of the book to get you going!" - Judge the Cover Book Reviews blog

August 24, 2011


Secrets & Sharing Soda blog - Katie

"The Summer I Lost It is a short novel for tweens and young teens written in the format of a weight loss diary. The author of the diary is a teenage girl named Kat, who wants two things - to lose weight and to have a boyfriend. After her parents deny her request to go to Fat Camp for the summer, Kat figures out how to tackle her weight problem on her own and joins a gym. Her parents are pleased to see her take the initiative, so they sweeten the deal with the promise of a vacation once Kat loses fifteen pounds. Kat is also motivated by her crush on a boy named Josh, who is nice to her, even if he doesn't seem that interested in her romantically. Kat is sure Josh doesn't like her because of her weight, but as she becomes more comfortable in her own skin, she starts to see that she has plenty of desirable qualities, and thanks to the gym, she might just have a new crush who is better suited to her personality and interests.   The writing style is perfect for a hi-lo book. The plot of the story is something very real, taken from everyday contemporary life, and the diary format, as well as the calendar pages and handwritten notes about calories scrawled in the margins make it very visually appealing, and easy to read. The health information is accurate and useful, and made all the more palatable by the fact that it's being delivered by a peer, rather than a well-intentioned adult.   I did wonder who the intended audience of this book is. I don't know many teenage girls who would choose to read a book on weight loss, and I don't think the romantic elements of the story are necessarily strong enough to draw readers in. That said, I think girls looking for books on this topic will enjoy the gossipy, contemporary language of Kat's diary entries, and her honesty about how her weight, and losing weight, make her feel. All in all, this was an upbeat, feel-good story about self esteem and positive life changes." - Secrets & Sharing Soda blog

September 15, 2011

Ms. Yingling Reads blog - Ms. Yingling

"Kat has always been overweight, but she is inspired by her Aunt Wendy’s weight loss to give dieting a try herself. Her parents can’t afford a “fat camp”, so she tries on her own to construct a plan of diet and exercise to lose weight. She wants to feel better about herself in summer clothes and hopes to attract the attention of the cute Josh. She has support from a variety of people, and makes good decisions about what to eat. She starts running and going to the gym, and finds that her energy level improves greatly. Eventually, she loses the 15 pounds she wanted to (a start), and her parents reward her with a trip to a resort where Josh’s family is also vacationing. Strengths: The tips on diet and exercise are reasonable and would be very useful to a girl who was trying to lose weight but didn’t know where to start. Weaknesses: The tone is rather didactic. This is a Stone Arch book, and they tend to be high interest, low lever books, so the writing is more text-book like." - Ms. Yingling Reads blog

June 8, 2011


NetGalley - Grace Smith

"This book was....adorable. It shed light on the hard issue of losing weight and really focuses on child obesity. And yet, this book was not gross or difficult to read. It was light, breezy, and overall enjoyable. Delightfully funny, and sure to promote many kids to be healthier, this book is sure to be a hit." - NetGalley

June 28, 2011

Denton ISD (Denton, TX) - Sherry Brandt

"This book is compact and unintimidating--a very quick, easy read. The story is written in a light-hearted and witty diary/journal style. The writings are the experiences involved an overweight girl's attempt to lose weight over the summer. She does so, too, in a healthy manner! No radical diet, no pills, no surgery...just healthy lifestyle changes! The end of the book also contains real tips for a healthy weightloss, exercise, and recipes." - Denton ISD (Denton, TX)

January 11, 2013


Confessions of a Readaholic blog - Rabiah

"The Summer I Lost It was really quick to read and only took me around half an hour to read.  It's an easy read, so it goes pretty fast. It's more like a "tip" book, on how teens can kinda lose weight through the story of Kat and her desperate attempt to lose a bunch of pounds. I gotta tell you, this might actually inspire me to walk out more. I'm such a lazy person I swear. I could live on my bed. But enough of that for now, onto it!   I found Kat and okay character, and because this book was really short, you really don't get to know her. But I definitely like her determination and drive to actually do something about her weight. I love her crush, Conner! I love him because he actually likes Kat for who she is, and not what she looks like. He's so sweet! Totally hate the other guy. The synopsis however, is a little bit off. It kinda implies she DOES go to fat camp when in fact she DOESN'T. Kinda weird, but off well. It's still a great book which anyone can read!   Overall, I found The Summer I Lost It an inspirational book, with everything right: little bit of info, fun and puppy love. Natalie Kath has also included amazing tips at the back, so it makes it even more worthwhile!" - Confessions of a Readaholic blog

September 12, 2011

Baldwin Borough Public Library (Pittsburgh, PA) - Kathleen M. Rizzo, Highlands Middle School

"Self image and social acceptance are both issues many middle school students deal with on a daily basis. This story provides girls (and boys) with a healthy plan on losing weight including how to track your workout schedule using a weekly calendar and provides healthy snack recipes. I like the positive motivation “You’re more than a number. Every day, whether or not you’re trying to lose weight, take time to appreciate yourself.” (Write down 5 things: you like about yourself, names of people you love, that make you happy, etc.).  I think this story is more authentic because the author herself has struggled with weight." - Baldwin Borough Public Library (Pittsburgh, PA)

December 4, 2012



Pennsylvania School Librarians Association

2011 Young Adult Top Forty Fiction Title

April 1, 2012