Coby Ryan Harris is Officially Fat

Category: Chapbook for Tweens: Mid-Grade Novel

Co-Authors: Joni Klein-Higger
Flora Zaken-Greenberg
Softcover ISBN: 9781616338091 1616338091
eBook ISBN: 9781616338107 1616338105

Coby Ryan Harris is Officially Fat! is an inspiring novel about a smart and funny seventh-grade boy who overcomes the challenges of childhood obesity, bullying, girls, and divorce. Teen-friendly recipes are included along with healthy tips and a discussion with a licensed psychologist.

Has won the Seal of Approval from LITERARY CLASSICS and is a 2017 FINALIST AND has won the GOLD CLC Award for Health/Self Esteem - Middle Grade!

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Chapter 1

Coby thrust his arm out to catch one of the flying notebooks and keep it from falling into a puddle beneath his feet. He missed. A hard lump formed at the back of his throat.

"Ha, ha. Nice catch, Chubbs!” C.J.’s beady brown eyes glared down into his. “Ever think of trying out for the football team? Oh wait, you’re too FAT to run.” The freckle-faced bully snorted, then he and his eighth-grade buddies laughed their way toward the convenience store around the corner.

“Yeah? At least I don’t have a chicken brain!” Coby called out. He picked up one of his books from the ground.

“Hey Cobe, you okay?” Coby looked up and saw the familiar face of his big brother Eric.

“They flipped over my backpack, that’s all.”

“Poured out your backpack is more like it.” Eric pulled a dirty gym shirt from his duffle bag, squatted down, and wiped off a textbook covered in brown sludge. “Algebra 1?” He grinned. “I didn’t learn that till I was in eighth grade.”

“Everybody’s gotta be good at something.” With hands still trembling, Coby grabbed another muddy book and wiped it off with his T-shirt.

“I guess so. Man, that C.J. Wright is a jerk. Time for a last name change for that kid, because he’s about as wrong as they come.”

“C.J. sure came up with a new name for me,” Coby said under his breath. “Chubbs.” He winced.

Eric put an arm around his shoulder. “Come on. Let’s get out of here.”

When they stepped through their front door, they were greeted by their giant tail-wagging Great Dane, Ralph. Ralph’s front legs nearly knocked Coby over. “Hey, Ralph. How’s my favorite doggie today?”

The pony-sized black and white hound with huge jowls and a rectangular head covered Coby’s face with sloppy kisses. “Let’s get you a treat.”

The two brothers headed for the kitchen with Ralph following close behind. Eric grabbed an apple and a granola bar. “Later, dude,” he said and made his way to his bedroom.

Coby watched his tall lean brother walk away and thought to himself there was no way they could possibly be from the same gene pool. With curly blonde surfer hair and ice blue eyes, all the hot girls went crazy over Eric. He was also built like an Olympic swimmer—not a coincidence since he was the star of the Curlew High School swim team.

On the other hand, Coby looked like the short dark-haired fat kid from The Goonies movie. “Lucky me.” Coby threw his backpack onto the kitchen counter, headed for the fridge, and opened it. “Hmmm.” He lifted a package of smoked turkey. “Nope.”

Before putting it back, he grabbed a slice and threw it to Ralph. Ralph caught the turkey with his mouth and gobbled it down in an instant. Coby picked up a container of leftover meatloaf from the night before. “Definitely not.” He proceeded to shove the grapes, strawberries, cheese sticks, melon, cucumbers, and salad around in hopes of finding the perfect feast. “No, no, no, no.”

He shut the fridge door while simultaneously opening the freezer door. Taking a look at the second shelf, he smiled. “Yes! Nothing like a French bread pizza to fix a totally crappy day.” In no time the smell of pepperoni filled the kitchen. Coby grabbed the hot pizza, a toaster pastry, and a cola and carried them to the family room.

Finally, he could relax. He hopped on the couch, flicked on the TV, and played the most amazing video game in existence.


Coby Ryan Harris is Officially Fat, is the compelling story of a young boy who determines to shed unwanted pounds along with the derogatory nicknames he's acquired from bullies who harass him about his weight.  Along the way Coby learns to focus on his strengths while finding the courage to stand up for himself.  This feel-good story will inspire young audiences to find their inner strength while embracing healthy habits.~Recommended for home and school libraries, Coby Ryan Harris is Officially Fat, has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.