Review: Slob by Ellen Potter
by Ellen Potter
Reading level: Ages 8 -12
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Philomel (May 14, 2009)
What to expect: Mystery, Self-esteem, Siblings, Loss
With a title like Slob, and an image of a partly eaten Oreo cookie on the cover, it’s hard not to be intrigued. Within the first couple of pages I was completely absorbed by the tale of a super smart kid, Owen Brinbaum. Owen’s voice is loud and clear, he speaks from the heart whether in spoken-word or thought. He is a well developed character that will have you caring in no time. I should also mention that Owen is overweight — okay, let’s be honest, he is the fattest kid at his school, but he does have a reason. Probably the same reason his sister has joined the group
at school called Girls Who Are Boys (GWAB).
” …I’m sure you’ve noticed that a lot of books start out with some kid’s first day at a new school. You can see why, of course. It makes for great suspense. The new kid is feeling very nervous. Everything seems slightly sinister…
…The thing is, when you are fatter and smarter than the national average, practically every day is like a first day at a new school…”
The story is set in middle-school and revolves around some missing Oreos. Who knew a plot like this could enable readers to
feel a sense of one’s own confidence and dignity. Potter delicately and confidently delivers a pitch-perfect story of self-worth. How does she do this? By using mystery, sarcasm, calculated humor, and characters that you can believe in no-matter how extreme. This is a book for everyone: smart,devious, overweight, underweight, shy, courageous and everyone in between. It’s no wonder that Slob was awarded the Junior Library Guild spring 2009 selection before it was even published. Very memorable!
Readers of Carl Haissen’s Scat would also enjoy Slob.
Add this book to your collection: Slob