The Toilet Kid
From the author of the award-winning book, The Tuckshop Kid, comes the companion adventure about food, friendship and finding your way.
In Pat Flynn's latest book, The Toilet Kid, the link between self-esteem, body-image and eating patterns are examined once again with clarity, depth and humour. Rather than a boy who struggles to control the amount of food he eats, as in The Tuckshop Kid, the author explores the flip side - a girl who uses a lack of food to gain some control over her life.According to the Medical Journal of Australia, a recent study highlights the increasing problem of early-onset eating disorders (eoeds) in children aged 5-13 years in Australia. "If there starts to be a pattern of children not eating and becoming thinner and skipping lunch regularly, then parents should be concerned."
Researched carefully in order to tackle such a serious issue, Pat Flynn uses the humour and the voice of likable Matthew to tell this important story.
Matthew's life has improved since The Tuckshop Kid, he's lost weight, is sort-of enjoying exercising and feels healthier and better about himself and his relationships with others. he's even started going out with the perfect girl, Kayla, and she loves food as much as he does. he can hardly believe his luck.
But when Matthew uncovers Kayla's secret, that she's developed an eating disorder, it tests their important bond as well as Matthew's fragile relationship with food. 'And have you noticed that she's got this distant look in her eyes?' says Nina.
I nod. It's as if her body is here but her mind is somewhere else. Like on another planet.
'And her diary was open in class and Nina saw an acrostic poem on one of the pages,' says Jasmine.
That's not surprising, Kayla likes writing poems. Unlike me. My mind never seems to be able to find the right rhymes.
Nina nods and takes up the story. 'The title was SLIM. I couldn't read it all but the S was for Skinny, the L for Lovely and the M for Mystery.'
'Hmm.' It's a mystery all right. I was hoping the M would be for Matthew.
'There's something strange going on,' says Jasmine.
'And we want you to find out what it is,' says Nina.
'Yes, you,' they both say.
'Well we want you to ask her out for dinner,' says Nina.
'Like, on a date,' says Jasmine.
'And then tell us what she eats.'
According to Pat Flynn, The Toilet Kid is about how we face problems. often when we keep them to ourselves they get the better of us and our problems multiply. But when we reach out to others, get the right advice and fight as hard as we can, most of the time we can find our way through a dark but short tunnel and out into the light.
Tell me a little bit about The Toilet Kid?Pat Flynn
: The Toilet Kid is a sequel to The Tuckshop Kid, where the main character Matt eats way too much food and has to learn to control his eating and his life. In The Toilet Kid Matt has lost weight and is doing well, however, his relationship with his girlfriend Kayla gets complicated when he suspects she develops a secret problem with food. He has to decide whether to confront her or spy on her!
Why did you choose to title the book The Toilet Kid? Pat Flynn
: Like The Tuckshop (or Canteen as it's called in some places), the toilet is an important place in the school. Kayla spends quite a bit of time there in the book.
What made you want to write this book? Pat Flynn
: The story churned around in my mind for a year or so and I felt like it wanted to escape! I'm interested in change - whether we are slaves to our own problems and addictions or if it is possible to really change for the better.
Do you think that communication in regards to young children's eating disorders will help decrease the number of young kids suffering? Pat Flynn
: Probably not, but it will let them know that they don't have to suffer this disorder in secret. Also, it will give friends and family an idea of what they are going through and how to help.
Why did you think it was a good idea to show the topic of eating disorders to younger children? Pat Flynn
: Eating disorders are increasing in younger children, so I think it's necessary to educate them about the topic so it's not such a mystery to sufferers and their friends.
What feedback from readers have you been given so far? Pat Flynn
: The book has just come out so not too much as yet, although one reviewer said that the book made her cry. Hopefully, that's a good thing!
Which was easier to write, The Tuckshop Kid or The Toilet Kid? Pat Flynn
: Hmmm. I think The Toilet Kid was a little tougher because I had to do a lot of research to make sure I got my facts about eating disorders right. But it was fun - even though it's about a serious subject there are lots of laughs in the book.
ABOUT THE AUTHORPat Flynn
grew up on an old dairy farm in Jimboomba, Queensland, before moving to the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra for three years on a tennis scholarship. Flynn earned a Bachelor of Journalism with Honours before playing and coaching on the professional tennis circuit and writing articles for sports magazines.
Flynn now writes realistic fiction with a dose of humour for 8-16 year olds. To The Light was shortlisted for the 2006 CBCA Book Awards, and The Tuckshop Kid received an Honour Book prize in the 2007 Awards, as well as being shortlisted for the QLDPremier's Award. Flynn's YA novel Out Of His League was released in America in 2008, making the PSLA top forty Young Adult list of 2009. At the of the Box Festival in 2008, Flynn adapted his junior novel Beeware for the stage and performed the play with his sister Liz Flynn to over 2000 children.
The Toilet Kid
Author: Pat Flynn
ISBN: 978 0 7022 3717 1
Price: $16.95Buy it now at