This month’s FYA Book Club selection is Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy. Check out the discussion questions below! (Slight spoilers ahead.)

P.S. If you’ve already read the book, feel free to add any other discussion questions of your own in the comments!


Willowdean idolizes Dolly Parton, as she should. When you were a teen, who was your role model?


1. Did you spend the majority of the book rooting for Willowdean or getting frustrated with Willowdean or both?

2. Body image is a major theme in this story, with frank passages like this one:

The word fat makes people uncomfortable. But when you see me, the first thing you notice is my body. And my body is fat. It’s like how I notice some girls have big boobs or shiny hair or knobby knees. Those things are okay to say. But the word fat, the one that best describes me, makes lips frown and cheeks lose their color.

But that’s me. I’m fat. It’s not a cuss word. It’s not an insult. At least it’s not when I say it.

How did you feel about Julie Murphy’s exploration of being fat? If you read this book as a teen, how would it have impacted your self-image?

3. Bo: exasperating, enigmatic, sexy or all of the above?

4. Did you feel any sympathy for Willowdean’s mother? Why or why not?

5. Let’s talk about Mitch. Why do you think Willowdean treated him the way she did?

6. Did you understand Ellen’s perspective? Why or why not?

7a. For clubs in Texas: Was this portrayal of Texas small town life accurate?
7b. For clubs outside of Texas: Can you believe mums are a real thing? Because they are.

This post was written by a guest writer or former contributor for Forever Young Adult.