Little River Books

Amelia St Pierre, Independent Usborne Organiser

Jemima Small Versus the Universe

Jemima Small Versus the Universe

Tamsin Winter
Jemima Small Versus the Universe

Jemima Small is funny and super smart. She knows a lot of things. Like the fact that she’s made of 206 bones, over 600 muscles and trillions of cells. What she doesn’t know is how that can be true and yet she can still feel like nothing… or how being made to join the school’s “special” healthy lifestyle group - A.K.A Fat Club - could feel any less special, and make her question her dream of applying for her favourite TV quiz show. But she also knows that the biggest stars in the universe are the brightest. And maybe it’s her time to shine…

A brilliantly funny and touching new novel exploring bullying, body confidence and, most importantly, learning how to be happy with who you are.

“I absolutely loved this bold, big-hearted and very necessary book.”
Fiona Noble, The Bookseller (Children's Book of the Month | July 2019)
“A clear-sighted look at censorious attitudes to larger bodies – especially girls’ bodies... Drily funny, this touching book gives its readers permission to take up space.”
The Guardian


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Extra information

Key Stage: KS3 E; Age 11+

BIC: D3N79

ISBN: 9781474927284
400 pages
198 x 130mm

Tamsin Winter

Tamsin Winter studied English Literature and Creative Writing before working in advertising, travelling and teaching in Singapore for a year. She now works as a secondary school English teacher in Leicestershire and lives with her young son. Being Miss Nobody is Tamsin’s first novel.

Visit to find out more.

Tamsin Winter


Shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2020

Press reviews

A compelling, empowering tale about a big girl, small minds and self-discovery.
Engaging... A powerful antidote to casting shade.
The Sunday Times
Tamsin Winter is fast becoming a favourite for younger teenagers [...] an empowering story about body confidence.
The Observer
Big-hearted story of a girl whose dream of appearing on Brainiacs fades when she is made to join the school "Fat Club".
The Daily Mail
an empowering story about body confidence.
The Observer
An uplifting and heartening read to help inspire body confidence in everyone.
Sunday Express (S Magazine)
Winter beautifully captures Jemima’s voice, with its mix of pathos and determination – and the occasional scrap of pithy wisdom thrown in.
The Daily Telegraph
An ode to body positivity based around funny, smart, mischievous 13-year-old Jemima, who has been picked on because of her size since she was seven.
The i


  • Usborne Quicklinks
    See the Internet links for this book.
  • 2020 Read for Empathy Guide from the Empathy Lab
    Jemima Small Versus the Universe is recommended by the Empathy Lab in their 2020 Read for Empathy Book Collection.
  • Discussion notes
    Post-reading activities for Jemima Small Versus the Universe.
  • Teacher's resources
    Download teacher's notes with discussion topics and classroom activities for Jemima Small Versus the Universe, structured around the Key Stage 3 English Curriculum with cross-curricular links to science and technology, maths, history, citizenship and PSHE.