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Extended Audio Sample Skinny, by Donna Cooner Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,312 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Donna Cooner Narrator: Elizabeth Morton Publisher: Scholastic Inc Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Hopeless. Freak. Elephant. Pitiful. These are the words of Skinny, the vicious voice that lives inside fifteen-year-old Ever Davies’ head. Skinny tells Ever all the dark thoughts her classmates have about her. Ever knows she weighs over three hundred pounds, knows she’ll probably never be loved, and Skinny makes sure she never forgets it.

But there is another voice: Ever’s singing voice, which is beautiful but has been silenced by Skinny. Partly in the hopes of trying out for the school musical—and partly to try and save her own life—Ever decides to undergo a risky surgery that may help her lose weight and start over.

With the support of her best friend, Ever begins the uphill battle toward change. But demons, she finds, are not so easy to shake, not even as she sheds pounds. Because Skinny is still around. And Ever will have to confront that voice before she can truly find her own.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Resounding…with wit, compassion, and courage, Skinny will speak to everyone who has ever felt invisible or unlovable.”

    Kathi Appelt, New York Times bestselling author and winner of the Newbery Honor

  • “The best—and truest—depiction of the joys and pangs of transformation I’ve ever read. Deeply moving, totally addictive, utterly fabulous.”

    Lauren Myracle, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Readers will be fascinated by the details of Ever’s surgery, and the permanent sacrifices she makes to accommodate her altered digestive system.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Elizabeth Morton’s precise and even narration doesn’t call attention to itself. Her style of delivery is appropriate for a story about a girl who desperately avoids attention. While Morton gives little indication of the Texas setting in her vocal characterizations, she imbues Ever’s best friend, stepsister, and other characters with personality and gives listeners insights into the ways Ever misreads people and continually defeats herself. Complicating Ever’s development is Skinny, a nasty voice inside her head that she believes tells her everything other people won’t say. An absorbing and timely exploration of obesity, its consequences, and how one girl manages finds her voice.”


  • “Cooner’s real-life experience with gastric bypass lends the story an irrefutable authenticity as Ever learns firsthand the gory details of both the surgical procedure and the aftermath…A crucial text for any teen considering such a life-changing surgery.”


  • “The surgery is discussed in detail; readers can see this isn’t a quick, easy solution, and that Ever’s problems don’t magically go away. This story will appeal to girls who struggle with doubts and fears, whether dealing with weight issues, loneliness, or lack of popularity.”

    School Library Journal

  • “Drawing from her own weight loss surgery, Cooner’s work explores gastric bypass and its aftermath, while other novels dealing with weight loss surgery (for example, Susan Vaught’s My Big Fat Manifesto) present an outside perspective. At a time when many teens are struggling with personal obesity, overweight, and the definition of beauty, public and school libraries should not hesitate to include this modern tale, only loosely based on the Cinderella story, in their collection.”


  • “Ever’s story is a must-read for every young girl who struggles to accept her own body, and the parents, teachers and friends who love them. Cooner paints a vivid picture of the insecurities that plague almost everyone from time to time, and as Ever learns to face her own inner demon, readers may find the courage to look for the beauty inside themselves (and others) as well.”

    Children’s Literature

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Makenzie | 1/5/2014

    " This story has got to be one of my favorite inspirational story of all times! I can relate to Ever in some ways. I loved following Ever through her weight-loss surgery and her journey to loose weigh. I also liked how Ever learned to cope with "Skinny." This novel also has another good message: Do not give up halfway through the race! Great novel, Donna Cooner! I am looking forward to many more great reads! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Leonora | 12/30/2013

    " Fabulous book!!!!!!!!!!! I loved it and could totally relate!!!!!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Molly Johnson | 12/26/2013

    " WOW! WOW! WOW! Loved it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Adriana | 12/24/2013

    " I thought that this book took a well known fairy tale (Cinderella) and brilliantly wove it into a story about self-esteem, body image, and rising above being your own worst enemy. I wouldn't call it a re-telling or a twist on a classic - it was simply used as a framework for the story of an overweight teen girl who could only listen to the bullying voice inside her head - a girl named Skinny. Ever weighs over 300 pounds. Like Cinderella, she lost a parent and she has a stepmother and two stepsisters. Unlike Cinderella, Ever is not a size zero. She has tried all the diets known to mankind and has failed at all of them. As she struggles through each day at home and at school, there is a little voice inside her head that lets her know exactly what everyone thinks of her. This voice is not kind. Skinny tells her how fat she is, how ugly, how repulsive and how everyone just feels sorry for her. Even after Ever goes through risky by-pass surgery, Skinny is still whispering in her ear that Ever is still fat and repulsive. But Ever pushes forward with the help of her best friend Rat. He has been with her since childhood and is a constant comfort to her. As the pounds drop off, Ever starts to catch the eyes of everyone who overlooked her in the past. But how does Ever know if all of this attention is genuine? Or has Ever's self-esteem been so low that she closed herself off to others long ago? All Ever wants is to be herself - a girl who has an incredible singing voice and who wants to be seen for who she is, not what she weighs. But Skinny is relentless, and no amount of fairy dust, evening balls, or Prince charmings will quiet her down, only Ever can make Skinny stop. I really enjoyed this read and I think that it approaches a serious issue that plagues many people and makes it easier to understand. Note: I read an advance copy. "

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