Looking for a book to add to your Do Not Read list? I've got one for you: "Maggie Goes On A Diet," a book that teaches young girls about the importance of dieting.

This book is not a joke. It's some misguided author's honest attempt to tackle the topic of childhood obesity — and as someone who writes about childhood obesity frequently, I can sort of understand why the author, Paul Kramer, would want to take on the issue. But the way he goes about it in this book is appalling. Here's the book's description:

This book is about a 14-year-old girl who goes on a diet and is transformed from being extremely overweight and insecure to a normal-sized girl who becomes the school soccer star. Through time, exercise and hard work, Maggie becomes more and more confident and develops a positive self image.
I haven't read the book, so I am basing my opinion on the Amazon book description and by the author's own website, Aloha Publishers, in which he mentions writing books in rhyme that "deal with the issues kids face today."  

So to be fair, I am totally judging this book by its cover — but take a look at this cover! A slightly plump "Maggie" looks longingly in the mirror at an image of her thinner self holding up a pretty pink dress that she hopes to wear one day. Maggie is not seeing herself as a soccer star. She is not envisioning a healthier image of herself. She is seeing herself fitting into this stupid, pretty, pink dress.  

What's worse is that even though the main character of this story is 14, it is aimed at 4- to 8- year-olds. FOUR TO EIGHT YEAR OLDS!! Do they really need a rhyming book that teaches them about the benefits of dieting? NO WAY!!

You want to deal with the issue of childhood obesity? Write a rhyming book about eating healthy foods and getting exercise everyday. But dieting? That's downright dangerous for kids of any age. This is certainly one book that won't make it onto my family's reading list anytime soon.

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