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Children's Fiction Adolescence

My Mother Is a French Fry and Further Proof of My Fuzzed-Up Life

by (author) Colleen Sydor

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Aug 2008
Adolescence, Parents
Recommended Grade
7 to 9
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2008
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2008
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.


It makes Eli cringe when her mother comes home proudly dressed in a foam rubber French fry suit after her first day as a mascot for Burgers 'n' Fries. Families come in many forms in the animal kingdom, Eli's teacher had informed her. Sure, but ... French fries? How can her mother be so unembarrassable? When 15-year-old Eli Smyth isn't fuming over her mother's goofy jobs and total lack of inhibition, she's envious of Grace. Eli's best friend has two dads, both tres cool, and neither dresses up as fast food for a living.

Maybe JG can understand. He's the boy in her class who shares her appreciation of rock band Decapitated Heads and also happens to have problems with his dad. Nobody's parents, though, are as wacko as Eli's mom. Everything she says and does drives Eli crazy. The too-frank sex-talks, the penchant for clothing that resembles flour sacks; the list goes on ...

It seems her mom can't do much more to aggravate Eli - and then gets pregnant. To Eli, there's nothing more disgusting than pregnancy. Now that her mother's puking her guts out most mornings and beginning to look like Jabba the Hut, what if she needs Eli's love and understanding? Will Eli be there for her?

About the author

Colleen Sydor was born and raised in Winnipeg, where she lives with her husband and three children, and works as a writer and floral designer. She brings quick wit and a lively sense of language to her books for young readers. Four of her books have won the McNally Robinson Book For Young People award. Sydor's children have always been grist for her writer's mill. She finds that as they grow in feet and inches, so her stories are lengthening as well.

Colleen Sydor's profile page


  • Short-listed, Red Cedar Award, BC Young Reader's Choice
  • Winner, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre
  • Winner, McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award, Manitoba Writers' Guild

Editorial Reviews

... this is a funny and tender story, and Eli a touching heroine ...

Publishers Weekly

... a funny book that mature readers will enjoy from first page to last.

CM Magazine

...teens will appreciate Sydor's manic, humorous tone ... this stands as a solid chick-lit offering ...

Kirkus Reviews

Librarian Reviews

My Mother is a French Fry and Further Proof of My Fuzzed-Up Life

Eli cringes when her mom accepts a job that requires her to wear a five-foot foam rubber French fry costume. But Eli’s life gets more fuzzed-up when she falls for a boy who has his own dysfunctional family to contend with just as her mother announces that she is having a baby.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2009.

Other titles by Colleen Sydor