Bullying Is NEVER Okay brochure: No one — including the grownups in your life — has the right to make you feel small.

Common core-aligned discussion guide for Starfish

#DitchingDietCultureAtSchool Digital Resources Library for students, teachers, parents, and communities by Cait O’Connor

Anti-Defamation League Bias, Discrimination & Hate Bullying Awareness & Prevention STARFISH Educator Discussion Guide

Anti-Defamation League Bias, Discrimination & Hate Bullying Awareness & Prevention STARFISH Parent/Family Discussion Guide

Starfish playlist

These are the songs I think Ellie would listen to, that help define her. I listened to them over and over when writing Starfish:

  • Brave by Sara Bareilles
  • Fight Song by Rachel Platten
  • Bigger Than My Body by John Mayer 
  • Firework by Katy Perry
  • Roar by Katy Perry

These are the songs that reminded me of Catalina and Viv’s friendship with Ellie:

  • Count on Me by Bruno Mars
  • My Best Friend by Weezer

Lisa Fipps Upcoming Events

11.29.21 – Robert H. Goddard Middle School 202, Queens, NY
11.30.21 – Nuttall Middle School, Robinson, IL
12.8.21 – Woodfill Elementary School, Fort Thomas, KY
12.10.21 – Ayer Elementary, Cincinnati, OH
12.15.21 – Mt. Tamalapais School, Mill Valley, CA
12.16.21 – Valley View Middle School/Edina Public Schools, Edna, MN
1.25.22 – St. Cloud Middle School, Saint Cloud, FL
1.26.22 – Hillsboro Middle School, Hillsboro, KS
2.15.22 – Newton Free Library, Newton, MA
2.16.22 – Cherry Hill Public Library, Cherry Hill, NJ
3.22 – South Carolina Association of School Librarians Conference, Myrtle Beach, SC
3.31.22 – Celebration of Adolescent Literature, Siena Heights University, Adria, Michigan

Lisa Fipps Past Events

11.23.21 – Frances Mack Intermediate School, Gaston, SC
11.17.21 – Saint Patrick School, Terre Haute, IN
11.16.21 – Amazon Live
11.9.21 – Plaza Middle School, Virginia Beach, VA
11.3.21 – The Dawn Society
10.29.21 – Foothill Knolls STEM Academy, Upland, CA
10.27.21 – Western Branch Middle School,  Chesapeake, VA
10.26.21 – Telluride Intermediate School, Telluride, CO
10.25.21 – Anderson’s Bookshop Authors in School
10.22.21 – Wichita Collegiate School, Wichita, KS
10.21.21 – Triopia CUSD 27, Concord, IL
10.14.21 – Rudolph Gordon School, Simpsonville, S.C.
10.1.21 – Iroquois Middle School, Elma, NY
9.27.21 – Project Heal Instagram Live
9.24.21 – Tennessee Association of School Librarians Annual Conference, Knoxville, TN
9.22.21 – Family Focus Book Club
9.18.21 – Indiana State Literacy Association 2021 Conference,
9.17.21 – Evergreen School District, San Jose, CA
9.13.21 – Private event. New Book Seminar, ISLIP Library, NY
9.12.21 – Children’s Librarians Association of Suffolk County, NY
9.10.21 – Private event. Washington Episcopal School, Bethesda, MD
8.27.21 – Milton Hershey School Author Visit, Hershey, PA
8.23.21 – Meet the Author Monday with Anderson Bookshop’s Kids and Teens Instagram live with @AB.Teens
8.6.21 – The Julie Chan Show Instagram Live
6.17.21 – Virtual Event with Alyson Gerber and Lisa Fipps, Politics and Prose, Washington, D.C.
6.12.21 – nErDcampCT 2021, virtual event, Burlington, CT
6.10.21 – Virtual Book Talk With Lisa Fipps, Second Star to the Right Bookstore, Denver, CO
6.9.21 – Bayville Free Library Author Visit, Bayville, NY
5.6.21 – Blue Willow Presents: Ann Braden & Lisa Fipps, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX
5.1.21 – Virtual HeroCon at The Dalton School, New York City, NY
4.30.21 – Ruby’s Books Junior Book Club Meeting
4.23.21 – Texas Library Association Annual Poetry Roundup
4.23.21 – Perma-Bound Books Booth at Texas Library Association
4.22.21 – Texas Library Association Tackling Tough Topics in Middle Grade Lit
4.15.21 – In Conversation With Authors Lisa Fipps & Chris Baron, virtual event, Run for Cover Bookstore, San Diego, CA
4.7.21 – Boswell Books Welcomes MG Authors for Educator Night, virtual event, Milwaukee, WI
3.18.21 – Virtual Author Visit Waterford School District, Waterford, WI
3.10.21 – Virtual Author Visit Pine Haven Elementary, Bauxite, AR
3.9.21 – Starfish Virtual Launch Party with Lynda Mullaly Hunt and Tara O’Brien
3.5.21 – North Texas Teen Book Festival’s When the Going Gets Tough: The Tough Get Going
2.18.21 – Booklist and Penguin Young Readers’ Feminist Reads: Spotlight on Body Positivity webinar


Internationale Jugendbibliothek White Ravens 2021
National Council of Teachers of English 2022 Charlotte Huck Award Honor Book 11.20.21

Award nominations

2022 3 Stars Book Award Middle School, District of Columbia Library Association School Library Section
Surrey Schools’ Book of the Year 2021-2022 Surrey, British Columbia, nominee

Best Books Lists

New York Public Library NYPL Best Books 2021: Best Books for Kids (11.23.21)
Chicago Public Library CPL Best of the Best Books 2021 (11.23.21)
School Library Journal includes STARFISH in SLJ Best Books: Best Middle Grade Books 2021 (11.22.21)
The Washington Post – KidsPost: Best children’s books of 2021 (11.18.21)
BookPal – Longlist for the middle grade 2021 Outstanding Works of Literature (OWL) Award (11.18.21)
Amazon – Best children’s books of 2021 (11.16.21)
What do We Do All Day? Best Middle Grade Books of 2021 (11.15.21)
Publisher’s Weekly Best Books of 2021 (10.22.21)

Starfish on book lists/reading lists

Evanston Public Library’s 101 Great Books for Kids List of 2021! (10.18.21)

Hub teen collections blog for the Young Adult Library Services Association: Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2022) Featured Review of Starfish by Lisa Fipps (7.8.21)

Required Summer Reading List for incoming eighth-graders. Ashland, Massachusetts (6.11.21)

Amazon Best Books of the Year So Far (6.9.21)

Amazon Best Children’s Books of 2021 So Far (6.9.21)

Amazon Best Children’s Books of 2021 So Far: Ages 9 to 12 (6.9.21)

The Horn Book 2021 Summer Reading List (5.12.21)

Virginia Association of School Libraries: VA Reads Middle Grade Selections 21-22 (5.11.21)

Barnes & Noble: Best Novels in Verse to Read Right Now (3.31.21)

Amazon EDITORS’ PICKS Body-positive kids’ books from the author of “Starfish” (3.11.21)

Starfish staff picks/library mentions

Evanston Public Library’s 101 Great Books for Kids List of 2021! (10.18.21)

Parnassus Books Nashville Staff Picks: Kids and YA (6.15.21)

Somerset County Library System of New Jersey Review (5.25.21)

Starfish/Lisa in the news

TODAY Show – 40 best gifts for 8-year-old boys and girls in 2021 (10.26.21)

The Irish Independent – The best children’s books this autumn – from Halloween picture books to spine-tingling novels for young adults (10.23.21)

Publishers Weekly – Best Books of 2021 (10.22.21)

Anti-Defamation League – Anti-bias Education Book of the Month: STARFISH (10.20.21)

Internationale Jugendbibliothek – The White Ravens 2021 (10.15.21)

Outside Online – How to Fight Diet Culture at Your Family Dinner Table (10.9.21)

SCBWI – A Closer Look at Novels in Verse (10.6.21)

School Library Journal – Standing Up to Bullies and Racism: three possible Newbery contenders (9.20.21)

School Library Journal – Award Worthy? : Heavy Medal’s Mock Newbery Suggestions through August (8.9.21)

BookRiot – Where are the fat children in picture books? (8.6.21)

cafemom – 17 Middle Grade Books Every Young Girl Should Read (7.29.21)

New York Times – Body and Soul: Two novels and a graphic memoir take on weight (7.22.21)

Borneo Bulletin, Brunei Darussalam – Novel inspired by author’s past as a  bullied kid (6.15.21)

YALSA The Hub – Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2022) Featured Review of Starfish by Lisa Fipps

News Tribune From the Stacks: Children’s book showcases finding comfort in own skin (5.30.21)

Post Bulletin Toss these books in your beach bag (5.21.21)

The Goshen News – Ready to hit the beach, and the books (5.16.21)

School Library Journal – Twice as Many Titles: The Updated Mock Newbery List (5.10.21)

The Horn Book Inc. – Lisa Fipps Talks With Roger (5.6.21)

The Horn Book Inc. – Review of Starfish (5.4.21)

School Library Journal – Growing the Mock Newbery Reading List: May suggestions are now open (5.3.21)

Houston Chronicle – Oprah Winfrey is among the authors appearing at book events this week (5.2.21)

National Council of Teachers of English – Build Your Stack (4.30.21)

AudioFile Reviews: Starfish (4.30.21)

Kidspot As a fat kid, my deepest wounds came from words my mother said; Lisa was bullied throughout her entire childhood, but it was words spoken by her own mother that hurt the most

WAMC/Northeast Public Radio – Book Picks: Northshire Bookstore (4.27.21)

Reading Eagle Read books that explore courage (4.25.21)

The Keene Sentinel – Novel inspired by author’s past as a bullied kid (4.24.21)

Kids’ Next List (Indie Next List) Top Pick Spring 2021: Starfish (4.22.21)

Longview News-Journal – Novel inspired by author’s past as a bullied kid (4.18.21)

ALA Booklist – Spotlight on Middle Grade Fiction (cover feature) (4.15.21)

The Horn Book – New for National Poetry Month 2021 (4.14.21)

The Spokesman-Review Starfish is inspired by Lisa Fipps’ past as a bullied kid (4.11.21)

ALA Booklist – Books and Authors: Poetry Tackles Tough Topics (4.9.21)

The Washington Post: Starfish character is bullied about her weight. So was author Lisa Fipps. Middle-grade novel in verse explores how a girl deals with critism from other kids and her own mother. (4.7.21)

School Library Journal Eleven Diverse Audiobooks in Verse (4.2.21)

Baker and Taylor CATS Meow Author Interview (4.1.21)

B&N Reads: The Best Novels in Verse to Read Right Now

Buzzfeed: If You Liked These 20 Young Adult Books, Read These 20 Middle Grade Books (3.30.21)

What to Read to Your Kids – Spring Break Beckons: Middle-Grade Round Up for Ages 7-14 (3.25.21)

Lisa Fipps interview with the Kokomo Post (3.25.21)

My Best Friends Are Books: Starfish by Lisa Fipps (3.23.21)

Publisher’s Weekly New and Noteworthy Kids’ and YA Books: March 2021 (3.22.21) Library system looks to spread body positivity among youth with ‘mindfully-curated’ collection (3.18.21)

All4Women: “Girls’ self-esteem plummets at age 9” – How moms can build confidence (3.17.21)

Amazon’s Editors’ Picks Body-positive kids’ books from the author of Starfish (3.11.21)

For Every Mom: As a Fat Kid, My Deepest Wounds Came From Words My Mother Said (3.10.21)

Book Riot: The Kids Are All Right (3.9.21)

Arkansas Democrat Gazette OPINION | READ TO ME: A bullied girl learns to like herself (3.8.21)

Buffalo News Books in Brief: The Elephant in the Room, Starfish (3.5.21)

Starfish is on The Children’s Book Council’s Hot Off the Press reading list of anticipated bestsellers. (3.2.21)

Kirkus Reviews With a Little Help From Your Friends (and Family) (3.2.21)

Amazon’s Editors’ Picks (Hand-picked Reads from the Amazon Book Editors) makes Starfish a Best of the Month title. (3.1.21)

Imagination Soup 13 Brilliant New Middle Grade Books, March 2021 (3.1.21)

Lone Star Literary Life March Texas Books Review (2.28.21)

Story Monsters Ink March 2021 issue – Lisa Fipps Writes a Must-Read for Kids (And Adults) by Melissa Fales pages 22-24. (2.27.21)

School Library Journal Starred Reviews February 2021 (2.25.21)

School Library Journal Middle Grade Titles to Get Excited About (2.22.21)

Publishers Weekly Starred Review (2.20.21)

Publishers Weekly Spring 2021 Children’s Announcements: Publishers M-Q (2.12.21)

American Booksellers Association BTW The Spring 2021 Kids’ Indie Next List Preview (2.9.21)

TODAY Show Parenting Team: As a Fat Kid, My Deepest Wounds Came From Words My Mother Said (2.7.21)

Publishers Weekly New and Forthcoming Titles on Women, Girls and Empowerment (1.29.21)

Kokomo native’s middle-grade novel tackles fatphobia (Kokomo Tribune 1.22.21)

Kirkus Review (Starred) Make room in your heart for this cathartic novel (1.19.21)

Brightly The Most Exciting Middle Grade & Chapter Books Hitting Shelves in 2021 (1.13.21)

PopSugar: 65 Picture, Middle-Grade, and YA Books Coming Out in 2021 to Add to Your Kid’s TBR List (1.8.21)

Publishers Weekly For Every Body: Children’s Books on Body Acceptance (10.30.20)

Starfish/Lisa on video or audio

All Aboard the E Train: My book review for “Starfish” by Lisa Fipps!

KidLit TV Creativity Corner with Terry Shay & Lisa Fipps (9.2.21)

Indiana State Library – Toucan Tuesdays from the Indiana Young Readers Center: Lisa Fipps, Indiana Author (7.6.21)

Read with Val: Starfish by Lisa Fipps (5.20.21)

Book Joy Live with John Schu (5.6.21)

First Chapter Friday with the Word Nerd: An Interview with Lisa Fipps (4.16.21)

Colby Sharp: Starfish by Lisa Fipps (4.12.21)

TeachingBooks: Starfish by Lisa Fipps (3.15.21)

Mrs. Palin, K-5 LibrarianStarfish by Lisa Fipps (3.10.21)

Starfish Virtual Launch Party (3.9.21)

North Texas Teen Book Festival When the Going Gets Tough: The Tough Get Going (3.5.21)

Why did I include therapy in Starfish? (3.2.21)

Thanks to Ginette Garrity, you can find me on Flipgrid. (2.23.21)

Kristin @mommylovesbooks had me as a guest on Instagram live. (2.23.21)

Booklist and Penguin Young Readers’ Feminist Reads: Spotlight on Body Positivity webinar with Olivia Abtahi, Shelly Anand, Tyler Feder, and Lisa Fipps (2.18.21)

Thanks to Shannon and Casey Alexander, and Fishers Junior High Library, I read the poem “Fat Girl Rules” for World Read Aloud Day 2021 (2.3.21)

Starfish/Lisa on blogs and podcasts

(11.9.21) Rapunzel Reads

(10.15.21) Plaid Reader Reviews: Fall Book Tag

(10.1.21) Taking A Stand Against Bullying: 25 Bullying Prevention Books for Tweens and Teens

(9.8.21) Imagination Soup: The Best Read Aloud Books for 6th Grade

(8.26.21) Girl on the Move: Parent Resources Book Recommendations for 8- to 12-year-olds

(8.6.21) Starfish by Lisa Fipps – Plus Giveaway

(7.8.21) Connecting Authors and Readers via Social Media

(7.7.21) MiddleWeb All About the Middle Grades: 21 Realistic YA Books Offer Teaching Insights

(5.12.21) Teachers, Books, Readers (TBR) Blog: Starfish by Lisa Fipps

(5.10.21) Raising Real Readers Book Review: Starfish

(5.6.21) Yolanda Ridge Review of Starfish

(5.5.21) Two Lit Mamas Podcast: Episode 23 – Fat Acceptance in Middle Grade Lit

(5.4.21) Bookish Society Secrets By Jennifer Naughton Episode 15 – Lisa Fipps

(4.30.21) Bit About Books 2021 MG Summer Reading Bingo

(4.21.21) Yvonne Ventresca Three Tips for Writing a Novel in Verse by Lisa Fipps

(4.19.21) The Happy Writer Podcast Guest Lisa Fipps

(4.16.21) For the Love of Dewey: STARFISH by Lisa Fipps

(4.13.21) #ReadThisNow: Dr. Brad Gustafson and Jennifer LaGarde share two books they love!

(4.15.21) Book Riot: Kidlit These Days – Children’s Books in Verse

(4.9.21) #2021NPM 9 April: Meet Debut Author Lisa Fipps

(4.9.21) Dr. Bickmore’s YA Wednesday: Verse Novels to Engage Readers

(4.9.21) Poetry for Children: Poetry Tackles Tough Topics

(4.8.21) The Teaching Books Blog – Virtual Book Tour: Lisa Fipps on Starfish

(4.8.21) Darlene Beck-Jacobson: Two Books That Celebrate Girl Power and Who Gets to Define Beauty

(4.7.21) Plaid Reader Reviews: Finished Books: Easter Readathon Day 3

(4.6.21) My Brain on Books: It’s Poetry Month! Take a closer look at four MG Novels in Verse from #the21ders! #IMWAYR

(4.3.21) PAMELAKRAMER.COM Reviewing Books & Saving Animals

(3.31.21) A Kids Book A Day: Starfish by Lisa Fipps

(3.29.21) Our Sunday Project – Starfish: A Book Review by Janavi Wagle

(3.28.21) Slice of Life: Walking Partners #SOL21 #IMWAYR

(3.26.21) Riley Reads YA: Starfish ~ Lisa Fipps

(3.24.21) Kicking Back with Kick-butt and Lisa Fipps!

(3.24.21) WWKI Male Call Podcast: Lisa Fipps talks about Starfish!

(3.21.21) Book Loaner Book Review Starfish by Lisa Fipps

(3.19.21) From the Mixed-up Files … of Middle-Grade Authors: Interview with Lisa Fipps, Debut Author of Starfish

(3.17.21) School Library Journal A Fuse 8 Production Newbery/Caldecott 2022: Spring Prediction List

(3.17.21) Get to Know … Lisa Fipps!

(3.17.21) Heart and Spirit: Lisa Fipps Discusses Her Debut Middle-Grade Novel in Verse

(3.15.21) Reading Middle Grade books for kids and grownups: Lisa Fipps on Starfish, Fatphobia, and Being Better Allies to Fat People

(3.12.21) Q&A With Lisa Fipps

(3.12.21) Author Interviews: Lisa Fipps

(3.9.21) We Need Diverse Books: Q&A With Lisa Fipps, Starfish

(3.9.21) Book Riot: All the Books! A Weekly Podcast About New Releases

(3.9.21) ReadWonder: An Inside Look with Lisa Fipps

(3.9.21) The Page 69 Test Starfish

(3.9.21) Ambivert Words: Starfish by Lisa Fipps Review

(3.8.21) Cracking the Cover: Lisa Fipps’ Starfish Is One of 2021 Best MG Novels

(3.7.21) THIS IS LIT: We Need to Talk About Fat Representation in Kidlit

(3.7.21) Lisa Fipps’s “Starfish” the Movie

(3.7.21) What’s Not Wrong?

(3.6.21) Middle Grade Ninja Episode 106: Author Lisa Fipps

(3.4.21) BIT ABOUT BOOKS Two friends passionate about libraries, reading, and children’s lit by Laurie Hnatiuk

(2.26.21) Leslie L. McKee blog “Starfish” by Lisa Fipps … And a Giveaway!

(2.15.21) Darlene Beck Jacobson’s GOLD FROM DUST: Bringing Stories to Life blog

(2.13.21) Librarian Leaps: Starfish

(1.27.21) ReadWonder: Starfish by Lisa Fipps

(1.21.21) Reading Middle Grade books for kids and grownups: 48 Best Middle-Grade Novels in Verse

(1.6.21) Reading Middle Grade books for kids and grownups: 23 Best Middle-Grade Books About Body Image and Body Positivity

(11.6.20) Fat Like Me: Chat all things fat with Starfish author Lisa Fipps

(6.24.20) Nerdy Book Club: Stretch Out Like a Starfish

Starfish Battle of the Books

West Northfield School District 31, Northbrook, IL