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Review: SLOB

May 14, 2009

SLOB

Owen Birnbaum is a 7th grader who is “fatter and smarter” than the national average, so he doesn’t quite fit in.  He’s picked on and laughed at by the other kids.  Owen has to deal with someone stealing the cookies from his lunch and a gym teacher who is a little bit sadistic.   He begins to suspect his one true friend.  His younger sister, Caitlin, otherwise known as Jeremy, is his staunch ally.  Jeremy is a member of Girls Who Are Boys (GWAB for short) and a natural born leader.

Owen is trying to build a machine he’s dubbed “Nemesis” with parts he and Jeremy have scavenged from demolition sites.  He theorizes that videos that are broadcast bounce off of stars and come back to earth a few years later.  He’s hoping to capture a video from two years ago.  You’ll be shocked when you find out why.

SLOB by Ellen Potter is a delightful book for young readers.  I thought the book and the quirky characters in it were great – they held my attention from start to finish.   All of the characters in the book are very true to life.  Owen’s feelings are all too real for children who are different and I think we’ve all known adults like the gym teacher.  Owen’s bravery in handling the difficulties in his life might even inspire someone.  This book has funny moments, tender moments and scary moments.  I think children will enjoy the great story line and the realistic characters.  SLOB is recommended for 9 to 12 year old readers.

Ellen Potter is the author of Pish Posh and the Olivia Kidney series.  She lives in upstate New York.

Review copy provided by the author.

31 Comments leave one →
  1. Kaye permalink
    May 14, 2009 6:25 am

    This sounds like a great book for kids. It’s so difficult when kids feel they don’t “belong.” Their daily life can be a nightmare when others belittle them. I don’t think I would want to raise my children in this day and age.

  2. May 14, 2009 7:07 am

    You know how much I loved this book too! We have Pish Posh sitting here to read too.

  3. May 14, 2009 7:26 am

    Even the most “ordinary” kids don’t feel like they belong. It seems like all the kids want to be either smarter, cooler, funnier, thinner, or ??? now. And it seems like kids that defy the stereotypes a little, which we adults think is wonderful, seem to feel that way even more, although they might be well liked, it’s like they don’t believe it.

    I wonder sometimes what makes so many kids uncomfortable being themselves now. Maybe with movies, etc. , its just impossible for a kid to measure up to what they think they should be.

    Great review, I wish I knew a kid that age, it’d be the perfect gift!!

    • May 14, 2009 7:30 am

      I JUST today read another review on this book!! Sounds like one that I would enjoy!

  4. May 14, 2009 7:48 am

    This sounds like a different kind of book–in a good way. I’ll have to look into this one for my kids.

  5. May 14, 2009 7:57 am

    Sounds like a great book for a little one. I’ll put on my list of good gift ideas.

  6. May 14, 2009 8:21 am

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about this one. I’ll have to check it out for The Girl.

  7. May 14, 2009 8:26 am

    I haven’t heard of this one. Sounds interesting.

  8. May 14, 2009 8:30 am

    Kids who are fatter or smarter than the rest have it the toughest, so I can imagine how bad it is for one who is both. These books are important in the sense that they tell kids that they aren’t alone in the difficulties they face.

  9. May 14, 2009 8:31 am

    This sounds great, thanks for the review.

  10. May 14, 2009 8:37 am

    Thanks for the review. I’m adding this to the list of books to obtain for my son.

  11. May 14, 2009 9:41 am

    I like that you shared that the characters are quirky and true to life. I think that this would be a good book for my son.

  12. May 14, 2009 9:45 am

    I keep seeing reviews of this book, I think all the signs point towards me reading this book, and soon 🙂

  13. May 14, 2009 9:46 am

    Great review!

  14. May 14, 2009 10:05 am

    I like the title of this book and the sparse cover.

  15. stacybuckeye permalink
    May 14, 2009 10:27 am

    Sounds good. And the cookie on the cover looks good 🙂

  16. May 14, 2009 10:49 am

    I have a ten-year-old that would love the characters in this book. I like the message of the book plus it sounds like a fun read.

  17. May 14, 2009 12:16 pm

    Definitely sounds like a good read! I’ll look for it 🙂

  18. May 14, 2009 12:18 pm

    Great review for a great book! 11-yr-old read thru this in one (long) sitting when it came in. I loved it too, the kids were *real* kids. Must get my review up, but first, that cover is making me hungry!

  19. May 14, 2009 12:27 pm

    Thanks for the review kathy. There are tweens that Michael knows that are always asking for book ideas I will pass that on to them. I am sure they will like it.

    I want a cookie now LOL

  20. Carol permalink
    May 14, 2009 1:17 pm

    Sounds cute. And now I really want an Oreo.

  21. May 14, 2009 1:44 pm

    I had a lot of fun reading this one as well! :o)

  22. May 14, 2009 7:49 pm

    This sounds great. Maybe I will read it with Nia.

  23. May 14, 2009 9:04 pm

    Sounds like a winner for kids. Great review.

  24. May 14, 2009 10:34 pm

    This does sound interesting. And that cover is very inviting.

  25. May 14, 2009 10:39 pm

    I’m surprised my library doesn’t have this on order. Looks like one my 12 y o might like! I think maybe I’ll request a purchase, they always need more good books for that age group with boy appeal.

  26. May 15, 2009 2:30 am

    This sounds like a book I would really enjoy. I’ve been reading a lot of YA lately so thanks for the head’s up :D.

  27. May 15, 2009 4:05 am

    This book sounds absolutely delightful and love the cover, simple yet nice.

  28. May 16, 2009 11:55 am

    Now you have me curious! I can’t help but want to know why he would want to capture that video or where he got his theory from.

  29. May 16, 2009 8:10 pm

    I must get this book for my library shelves!! thanks for a great review!

  30. May 18, 2009 4:21 pm

    Awesome review! I loved this book so much … and I agree 100% that it had tender, funny and scary moments. There was so much awesomeness packed into this great little story 🙂

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