Cover image for Dumplin' / Julie Murphy.
Dumplin' / Julie Murphy.
Title Variants:

First Edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2015]
Physical Description:
375, 15 pages ; 22 cm
Sixteen-year-old Willowdean wants to prove to everyone in her small Texas town that she is more than just a fat girl, so, while grappling with her feelings for a co-worker who is clearly attracted to her, Will and some other misfits prepare to compete inthe beauty pageant her mother runs.
Geographic Term:


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
MUR Book Teen Collection
MUR Paperback Teen Collection

On Order



For fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell comes this powerful novel with the most fearless heroine--self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson--from Julie Murphy, the acclaimed author of Side Effects May Vary. With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine--Dumplin' is guaranteed to steal your heart.

Dubbed "Dumplin'" by her former beauty queen mom, Willowdean has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American-beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . .  until Will takes a job at Harpy's, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn't surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.  

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet Pageant--along with several other unlikely candidates--to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she'll shock the hell out of Clover City--and maybe herself most of all.

Author Notes

Julie Murphy's debut contemporary young adult novel, Side Effects May Vary, is out from Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins and was well-received by Kirkus, School Library Journal, VOYA, Booklist, Seventeen Magazine, and Teen Vogue. Dumplin', Julie's sophomore novel has received glowing reviews including two stars from Publishers Weekly, Booklist and is a 2016 New York Times Best Seller. Film rights have been optioned by Disney.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

About the only thing Clover City has going for it is its beauty pageant, the oldest in Texas. It's run by Willowdean Dickson's mother-a former winner-who has a hard time with the reality that Willowdean, a self-described "fat girl," will never be a beauty queen. Willowdean is okay with her size, mostly, but with 10th grade ending and her best friend considering having sex with her boyfriend, Willowdean feels like she is being left on the wrong side of the experience divide. An unexpected kiss with Bo, her handsome fast-food restaurant coworker, is thrilling, but she's also horrified at the idea of him touching her anywhere there is extra flesh. And that very reaction horrifies her, too; she thought she was at peace with herself. Murphy (Side Effects May Vary) successfully makes every piece of the story-Dolly Parton superfans, first love, best-friend problems, an unlikely group of pageant entrants, female solidarity, self-acceptance, and Willowdean's complicated relationship with the mother who nicknamed her "Dumplin' "-count, weaving them together to create a harmonious, humorous, and thought-provoking whole. Ages 13-up. Agent: Molly Jaffa, Folio Literary Management. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

Im fat. Its not a cuss word. Its not an insult. At least its not when I say it. Clover City, Texas, resident Willowdean Will Dickson has always been comfortable with who she is: a cashier at Harpys Burgers Dogs, a Dolly Parton fan, and a fat girl. But the attention of Bo, a co-worker she has a crush on, makes her feel self-conscious; her insecurities only increase when she decides to enter the towns famous Miss Teen Blue Bonnet beauty pageant to honor her deceased aunt. Plus, her pageant-director mom is less than thrilled shes participating, and Wills fighting with her best friend. On the other hand, Will has the support of three other misfit pageant contestants; an encouraging drag queen; and the guy shes sort-of dating instead of Bo. Genuine, romantic, and with a dash of Texan charm, this is a novel that celebrates being who you are while also acknowledging that its incredibly difficult to do. And Will, who triumphs without losing an ounceeither in weight or attitudeis a relatable messenger. As she takes the stage on pageant night, wearing a swimsuit, she is at once vulnerable and courageous. I may be uncomfortable, she acknowledges, but I refuse to be ashamed. rachel l. smith (c) Copyright 2015. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.