July 7, 2011
SLOB - by Ellen Potter
When we meet 12-year-old Owen, he's in the middle of a mess of trouble. Someone's messing with his lunch, his P.E. teacher is totally out to get him, his sister decides she wants to be a boy, and everyone in school makes fun of him for his weight. How does he deal with it? By inventing a device with parts he found in demolition sites that can watch events in the past, and by hanging out with his Tibetan friend eating delicious dumplings. There's more to it, much more, and half the fun of this book is getting hit by surprises all along the way. You'll find yourself liking Owen at times, but wanting to scream at him a moment later.
This is a school story, a tale of family, of hope and heartbreak, of gender confusion, and of course, how hard it is to be overweight in middle school, surrounded by jerks. It's also a mystery, though you wouldn't suspect that at first. It takes a while to start loving the book, so give it a few chapters without giving up, and you'll be happy you did.