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Saturday, June 8, 2019

Book Review: All of Me by Chris Baron

There are so few books out there about overweight boys. I gravitated towards this one right away due to the meed for the topic. Realized immediately that the book is "in verse" which I'm putting in quotation marks for a reason, but I overlooked that style that I don't normally like. And I"m so glad I did as this book was really powerful. (To me the "in verse" didn't feel like verse at all. No meter, no rhythm, it just felt like each sentence was on it's own line. That's a style choice as well, but it doesn't make it a novel in verse, in my opinion, like some others I've read, which certainly hew more in the direction of poetry than this one.)

Ari moved to the San Francisco area with his parents, away from all their family and friends in New York. He's overweight and pretty bullied at school. After his first year he starts to make a few friends. His mother really encourages those friendships, and he's able to take two of his friends out to the beach for the summer, where his mother, an artist, is working for the summer. His mother eventually figures out how troubled he is about his weight and gives him a diet book (seems like Dr. Atkins.) Although she doesn't know how badly he has been bullied. His dad is basically not around at this point which is never addressed with Ari. And he doesn't ask.

But over the summer, with his friends, with art, with hiking and swimming and biking and the diet, he starts to feel better about himself. Not because he's losing weight--although he is--but because he starts to be more independent and come into himself more. He family may be falling apart, but he is coming together.

This review is a part of Kid Konnection, hosted by Booking Mama, a collection of children's book-related posts over the weekend.

This book is published by Feiwel & Friends, a division of Macmillan, my employer.

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