Saturday, July 4, 2009

SLOB by Ellen Potter

SLOB by Ellen Potter
Geared Towards: Ages 9 and up
Published By: Philomel Books
Publication Date: May 2009
ISBN: 978-0-399-24705-7

Chocolately, crunchy goodness on the outside with gooey, creamy goodness on the inside. That is the short and simple description of an Oreo cookie; the one cookie that has Owen Birnbaum practically bending over backwards to protect in his story SLOB by Ellen Potter.

Owen is many things, but thin and popular are not among them. Since the mysterious death of his father some two years ago, food- especially Oreos- has become his crutch. At 57% fatter than the national average 12 year old, Owen has fallen into a rut wherein his weight is concerned. He knows he should watch what he eats; still food comforts him and soothes like a balm to a fresh wound.

When Owen's daily treat, an ecofriendly pack of three single Oreo cookies, disappears from his lunch sack one day during class he doesn't have to look far before finding his most likely suspect. Being unusually smart, just one point shy of genius- to be exact, Owen decides to invent a trap which he can set to hault the cookie thief and thereby end the indignant attack on his own personal weight issues. What Owen does not realize is that this simple, yet calculated task will be only just the crux of his story.

He's a good guy with a kind heart. So what if he has a soft spot for food? We all have our vices, and Owen's is, truthfully, not that far off from what many of us struggle with on a daily basis. But when all is said and done, food will not be the sole benefactor of glory in this tale. Far from it. Unwilling to be complacent any longer with his position in life, Owen will learn to fight his personal demons and come to terms with his past.

In an inventive story which shows the main character in an environment most kids today can easily relate to, Ellen Potter crafts a delightful tale full of witty humor, creative thought processes, deep storylines, and still plenty of heart. Young readers will enjoy discovering what makes Owen Birnbaum tick. And, maybe just maybe they'll learn a thing or two and find inspiration between the book's pages- inspiration to grow from one's past, inspiration to have and reach towards big dreams, even inspiration to better one's self.

The way Owen holds himself in spite of the way other's treat him is both heartening and thought provoking. Being smart and overweight makes him the perfect victim for verbal and physical abuse among his peers. Yet, while you can tell the taunting and jeering strike a cord with Owen, he is a bigger person; no pun intended, and does not allow the disrespect of others to bring him down to their level. Instead, he takes their abuse and uses it as an incentive and driving force which comes to shape him into the hero, of sorts, that he becomes.

A thoroughly cute and enjoyable story, I am honored to have had the priveledge to read and review SLOB for Ms Potter. Within the pages of this book is a well crafted story which will move the reader and leave him/her with a feeling way more satisfying than any number of Oreo cookies could ever hope to give.

3 comments:

Anna said...

I've seen this one around, and it sounds like an interesting book. Great review!

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Bianca said...

This is such a great book -- I really enjoyed it!

Becca said...

I would be devastated if someone stole my cookies! It sounds like a fun and inspirational book.