Friday, July 4, 2014

SLOB by Ellen Potter

I must admit that I have mixed emotions about books about fat people. Often authors try to simplify why a person is fat and then, miraculously, the person figures it out and loses weight by the end of the book-part of the resolution-the end. I object to that because it’s never that easy. Never. People spend their entire lives struggling with their weight and to reduce it to such a simple, “Oh I figured out why I eat so much so now I can control it and lose all this weight” minimizes what real people do when they struggle with their weight.  Of course this is intermediate fiction, which usually wraps up novels nicely in a beautiful bow, but somehow this seems more unfair. 

This story stars Owen, a fat kid who is picked on and has a hard time standing up for himself. This story is a typical story about a kid who struggles, reveals a traumatic moment that is at the heart of his struggles, and then, miraculously he is cured of his urge to overeat and he loses weight. The end. Sorry to reveal the end, but it seems trite. 

What I did like about this story is the voice. The voice seems genuine and reveals a complex and interesting kid whom I would really like to meet and chat about life. He is quirky and bright and humble, all at the same time. In all I liked the book, but am not a fan of the message. 
Grades 4-8