January 20, 2013

MMGM: SLOB, Ellen Potter

SlobSlob by Ellen Potter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ellen Potter's SLOB is an excellent example of classic MG literature. This story has all of the necessary components for success: a put-upon-yet-heroic MC, a spunky set of secondary characters, a questionable villain, and a heart-wrenching mystery tying everything together.

From the opening pages, twelve-year-old Owen Birnbaum tells his story with the kind of frank, matter-of-fact voice that middle grade does so well. Potter gives Owen's voice a great twist, pairing intelligence with physical limitation. Owen is fat--57% fatter than the national average. And he doesn't shy away from telling us about it. Although it takes reading his story to learn why he's come to be this way.

As Owen navigates his daily life (which is torturous at times), we learn more and more about him, until we're cheering for him to beat the gym-teacher who's really a bully at heart, and to figure out who's stealing his oreos every single day, and to find a way to make his invention work--a TV that can show the past, which is his only chance at solving a terrible mystery.

As much as I appreciated the layers of complexity in this story, and the funny goofy bits that rang so true of that age, most of all, I enjoyed getting to know Owen. And I'm sure you will, too. He's a classic.

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  1. This sounds like a good story, Melanie!

  2. I hadn't heard of this one. Sounds really good - going right onto my reading list.

  3. How come I've never heard of this book? It sounds fantastic and you got me at "TV that can show the past" and "mystery".

  4. Ooh, I read this book last year and I totally loved it. One of my favorite MG novels so far. I love the voice in this novel. And the mystery. And the characters. And everything else!

  5. Definitely going on my TBR list. Thanks for the review. I didn't know about this book.

    1. I've heard this from so many people! Glad to get a great book into all of your hands.

  6. I don't have this on my TBR list! It sounds fun, thanks for reviewing it.

  7. I haven't heard of this one until now. Owen sounds like a great character and I look forward to getting to know him. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Sounds like an interesting novel, and I love layers of complexity. I'll have to check this one out. Thanks for the review.


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