The Fattening Hut by Pat Lowery Collins

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Helen doesn’t want to stay in the fattening hut. She’s told her mother that she’s too young, not ready for it. Why must she marry so soon? She doesn’t want to gorge on rich meals for months—until she is round and heavy, like a good bride should be. Just like her mother and sister before her, just like all the women of her tribe. When she finds out the terrible secret the fattening hut harbors, she becomes even more confused and defiant. Lonely, scared, and feeling hemmed in by family, by culture, and by tradition, Helen fights for the chance to be educated, young, and free.

About Pat Lowery Collins

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Pat Lowery Collins is the author of many books for children and young adults, including the novels Hidden Voices: The Orphan Musicians of Venice and Daughter of Winter. About The Deer Watch, she says, "The mystical feelings I experienced when sighting two fawns in the early morning were the inspiration for this tale." She lives in Massachusetts.David Slonim is a fine artist and writer and illustrator for children. He is the illustrator of Moishe's Miracle by Laura Krauss Melmed and the author-illustrator of He Came with the Couch and Oh, Ducky! David Slonim lives in Indiana.
Published September 22, 2003 by HMH Books for Young Readers. 192 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Biographies & Memoirs, Children's Books. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Helen is coming of age in a fictional island culture (borrowed from Nigerian custom and the British West Indies) where girls are taken to the “fattening hut” before they’re married.

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Publishers Weekly

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But Helen's Aunt Margaret, who taught Helen to read, smuggles in books that the woman received from long-ago British visitors to their island.

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