“A book for anyone who has ever felt less than.” That’s the dedication that starts A Work in Progress. We all are a work in progress, but sometimes it’s hard to see your own value. When Will is called fat in the school hall—in front of everyone—his self-worth plummets.

In this story we follow Will’s internal thoughts, sadness, frustrations, along with attempts to hide himself and change himself. Although we often hear about girls and body shaming it happens to boys, too. This illustrated novel is a personal book for Lerner, based on his own struggles with body image, an eating disorder, and low self-worth. It can be rough in middle school. Fortunately, Will finds a path forward. It takes time and meeting a classmate who sees value in having Will as a friend.

But it’s not just for kids going through difficult times. Understanding how words spoken in frustration or anger can really hurt someone else is an important lesson for all of us. I hope this book makes its way not just into school libraries, but into classroom discussions as well.

Ages 8 – 12 years.

Available for purchase May 2, 2023

Learn more about the author/illustrator here…