Paul M. Kramer has a new book due out about a young girl learning how to diet and boy, is the internet fucking upset. Naturally, he gave an interview to Good Morning America to clear his good name and to discuss the possible issues people might have with his writing.
"My intentions were just to write a story to entice and to have children feel better about themselves, discover a new way of eating, learn to do exercise, try to emulate Maggie and learn from Maggie's experience."
But much of the concern lies in the word "diet." Why not call the book "Maggie Loses Weight" or "Maggie Eats Healthy?" Kramer responded,
If I entitled the book "Maggie Eats Healthy," somebody in a bookstore looking at [the] title is really not going to identify with somebody who has been overweight or who has health problems, or who can't bend and play sports because they are just too uncomfortable.
Kramer says he believed the uproar was mainly due to people not using the word "diet" the same way he does: "Diet is kind of a misconstrued word, it has many many meanings." Sure it does. He does, however, have a fair point about people getting so fired up about his book without these people even reading the inside. The whole you can't judge a book by its cover rings kind of true here.
To play devil's advocate for a moment, the Amazon description of the book says that "Through time, exercise and hard work, Maggie becomes more and more confident and develops a positive self image." We like to encourage a positive self-image, yes? The children's author has other works like Divorce Stinks and Bullies Beware, so perhaps he really is trying to help teenagers through a horrible, awkward time in their lives through his books. Perhaps in his attempt to give kids who are depressed about their weight a little motivation to get healthy, he simply missed the mark.
Then again, how are we even giving a serious literary critique to a book for children written by a novice author? You don't see people complaining about the message to kids in Everybody Poops, now do we? (And thank goodness, because I would hate to hear about a child defecating in public who coyly responded, "Hey, Everybody Poops, right?") Still, we suggest you think twice before purchasing the item for any budding teens you may know — it probably won't sit right.