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Slob Hardcover – May 14, 2009
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From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 6-8–Owen is the fattest–and smartest–seventh grader in his New York City school. When he's not ducking the school bully or trying to survive the world's most sadistic P.E. teacher, he invents things. Currently Owen has two projects–a TV that will show events in the past and a trap to catch the thief who keeps stealing the Oreos from his lunchbox. There's a lot of middle school banter and adolescent dialogue. However, what begins as a lighthearted adventure gradually takes on a darker tone. Owen calls his invention Nemesis and insists that it needs to reach exactly two years back. As the story evolves, readers learn that there are places in town where he feels distinctly uncomfortable, and that he treasures a note that says only SLOB. Step by step, Owen reveals the tragedy behind his concerns. Two years earlier, he was hiding in the basement of the family store, listening as his parents were killed by an intruder. Adopted by the 911 operator who took his call after the murders, he dreams of identifying the perpetrator. Although Nemesis fails to solve the crime, Owen is finally able to find closure, with help from his sister, their friends, and, surprisingly, from the dreaded bully himself. A sensitive, touching, and sometimes heartbreakingly funny picture of middle school life.–Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL
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Potter has written a pitch-perfect novel of the miseries of middle-school. Filled with sarcasm and lots of humor, the story is filled with intriguing characters, believable and unique. --Kids Lit Blog
"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
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The book takes place in modern time in the United States. It spans over a series of months. The book is about an overweight, 12-year-old boy, whose parents were killed at the family business. The boy tries to find the killer with a machine he invented, called the Nemesis. While reading the book, I felt sad and happy. Sad, because the boy lost his parents and people made fun of him, because he was overweight. Happy, because the book ended on a happy note, even though the Nemesis did not work. I am not sure I would recommend this book to others, because parts of it were a bit boring to me.