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Slob Hardcover – May 14, 2009
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From School Library Journal
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"An intriguingly offbeat mystery concerning the theft of cookies from a boy's lunch, at turns humorous, suspenseful and poignant. Intelligent Owen is the fattest kid in his middle school, having packed on the pounds after a major upheaval in his life caused him to begin turning to food as a source of comfort. His younger sister, who has joined up with a group at school called Girls Who Are Boys (GWAB) and taken to insisting that others call her Jeremy, coped by growing tougher. Owen, on the other hand, has become an object of ridicule due to his weight. While the Oreo heist provides the main premise for Owen to engage with other kids at school, there are a number of secondary mysteries crafted alongside it, each of them raising unexpected questions that are neatly wrapped up by the novel's end. While some readers may balk at some of its more convenient coincidences, fans of Jerry Spinelli and others of his ilk may especially enjoy it and will be held rapt." --Kirkus
"A sensitive, touching, and sometimes heartbreakingly funny picture of middle school life." --School Library Journal, starred review
Top Customer Reviews
Owen Birnbaum is fat. But he wasn't always that way. Something bad happened and now he's the fattest kid at school, spending his days being teased endlessly by his classmates, afraid that the new school psycho who carries a switchblade in his sock is out to get him, tortured by his cruel gym teacher, and dealing with his sister who has decided she wants to dress and look like a boy and be called Jeremy.
Life isn't all bad though. Owen is a genius and he can invent cool stuff, like a TV that shows the past--a past that is scary, but one that can answer the questions burning inside his head...if only he can get it to work.
When the Oreos from Owen's lunch keep disappearing, he's sure the school psycho is the culprit. Owen puts together a plan--along with a neat new thief catching device--to help capture the Oreo snatcher. What he doesn't consider, however, is that science might not hold all the answers.
Every middle-grade reader will find something to enjoy in "SLOB". More than a story about an overweight kid who is teased profusely, "SLOB" is the story of one boy's quest to uncover the truth about the tragic event that altered his life forever.
Speaking directly to the reader, Owen shares his struggles at school--which stink, but he's not overly upset about because he's smarter than all those guys anyway, his sister's involvement in GWAB (Girls Who Are Boys), the torture he endures at the hands of his gym teacher Mr. Wooly, and how things change for him once the psycho comes to school--not only is Mason Ragg a psycho, he's a smart psycho.Read more ›
It quickly becomes clear that Owen and his sister Jeremy (she has changed her name to a boy's name) have been through a lot; however, the reader is gradually given hints that something tragic happened in their past. I had some ideas, but I have to admit that I was shocked with the secret. I thought Ms. Potter did an amazing job of telling this story and keeping the reader's attention.
SLOB does deal with some very serious issues, and my heart definitely went out to Owen and Jeremy; however, I have to say that I found this book to be hilarious! There was so much humor woven into this story, especially Owen's insights into life, that I don't consider it a "sad" read. The ending is definitely upbeat and the reader is left with some terrific messages. I think kids will feel bad for Owen, but I think they will absolutely love the mystery, suspense and humor in this novel. I know I couldn't put it down!
There are a lot of themes in the book that are relevant for kids in today's society including childhood weight issues, violence, lack of self-esteem, bullying, etc.Read more ›
I would give the book five stars, except that I felt like there was a slight lack of depth. I realize that it's a children's/young adult book, but I felt the author could've delved a little deeper, and come out with a slightly more mature book. All in all, however, I would recommend this book to junior high kids, and maybe even lower level ninth graders. The only potential problems I see are the references to swearing and violence, but these are both so minimal, that I can't really see anyone complaining.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I wasn't sure whether this was going to be a Disney style kids book from the first couple of pages but it turned out to be a page turning pleasure to read.Published 8 months ago by Brandy
I loved this book because I thought it was very descriptive and well written. The author wrote this book in a way that made me want to cry and do my happy dance at certain times.Published 16 months ago by Larry J. Williams
This is so epic. One of the best books I've ever read. Very enjoyable. A boy trying to find the mysterious vanishing Oreos.Published 22 months ago by Jacob S.
I liked how this book has bad days and good days.It showed me that not everything in life is fair. Great bookPublished 22 months ago by Unknown