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  • A Work in Progress (Hardcover)

A Work in Progress (Hardcover)

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by Jarrett Lerner

Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781665905152
Published: May 2, 2023

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"A successful marriage of art and poetry." ---Kirkus Reviews

"A perceptive representation of recovery and self-acceptance." ---Publishers Weekly, starred review

A young boy struggles with body image in this poignant and “perceptive” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) middle grade journey to self-acceptance told through prose, verse, and illustration.

Will is the only round kid in a school full of thin ones. So he hides…in baggy jeans and oversized hoodies, in the back row during class, and anywhere but the cafeteria during lunch. But shame isn’t the only feeling that dominates Will’s life. He’s also got a crush on a girl named Jules who he knows he doesn’t have a chance with, because of his size—but he can’t help wondering what if?

Will’s best shot at attracting Jules’s attention is by slaying the Will Monster inside him by changing his eating habits and getting more exercise. But the results are either frustratingly slow or infuriatingly unsuccessful, and Will’s shame begins to morph into self-loathing.

As he resorts to increasingly drastic measures to transform his appearance, Will meets skateboarder Markus, who helps him see his body and all it contains as an ever-evolving work in progress.


Jarrett Lerner is the award-winning creator of more than a dozen books for kids, including the EngiNerds series of middle grade novels, the Geeger the Robot series of early chapter books, the Hunger Heroes series of graphic novel chapter books, two activity books, the illustrated novel in verse A Work in Progress, and the Nat the Cat series of early readers. You can find him online at and on X (previously known as Twitter) and Instagram at @Jarrett_Lerner. He lives with his wife and daughters in Massachusetts.

children's literature / comics / emotions / feelings / fiction / graphic novel / hardcover / local author / mental health / middle grade / social themes
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