Author: Ellen Potter
Publisher: Philomel Books
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-399-2705-7
Pages: 208
Price: $16.99

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Owen Birnbaum is 57 percent fatter than the average twelve-year-old. But this isn’t self-pity speaking. It’s just the facts. When Owen introduces himself in the first pages of this novel, the reader immediately knows we’re also meeting a boy with better than average intelligence and a wry sense of humor.

Along with battling his weight, Owen has some other problems. One is the puzzle of who keeps stealing his Oreo cookies from his lunch sack. Another is the bullying gym teacher who revels in humiliating the fat kid. And the most important is building Nemesis, which will help him solve a mystery that took place two years ago.

At times Slob touches on serious matters no twelve-year-old should have to deal with. But Ellen Potter handles them in a sensitive manner, and Owen’s pain rings believable and true. I really enjoyed this well-written story, and I hope we get to see a lot more of Owen Birnbaum, who’s truly a delightful character.

Reviewer: Alice Berger