July 10, 2009

Because I am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 9:44 pm by suebe2

chaltasBecause I am Furniture

by Thalia Chaltas

(Viking)

This post is riddled with plot spoilers but if you read it, you’ll understand why.

When someone recommended this book to me, I hesitated.  I’m not 100% sold on stories told in verse, and, when it is a story of abuse, I even more uncertain. Fortunately I decided to pick it up.  This is an incredibly powerful book.

Anke isn’t certain what goes on behind closed doors at home.  In full view, her father slaps her older sister and brother to the floor before chastising them in private.  At least, Anke tells herself she doesn’t know what is going on.  Deep down, she knows.  She also wonders why.  Why don’t they tell?  Why are they the ones he abuses?  Is she so valueless that he can’t even be bothered to smack her around? 

Then the coach invites Anke to try out for volleyball.  On the court she finds her voice when she has to call the ball.  On the team, she finds friends.  And at school, she finds a boy.  A boy she doesn’t know how to react to because she really does know what her father is doing to her siblings and, if that’s bad, how can this be good?

But Anke has found her voice and eventually she demands to be heard. 

Know — this book is YA.  That means teens and tweens.  Not your 10-year-old no matter how good they read.  Really. 

Because it is told in verse, there isn’t a lot of detail.  If a young reader didn’t KNOW about sex, he or she probably wouldn’t pick up on the exact nature of the “behind-closed-doors” abuse. 

Do we really need books like this?  Sadly, we do.  And for the kid who needs an example of how strong even a girl from a severely disfunctional home can me, this is the book.  For the girl who needs it, it is here. 

–SueBE

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