Reviews for Slob

Booklist Reviews 2009 June #1
Twelve-year-old Owen and his sister attend a progressive New York City school where there are no desks, "Just workstations. Which are basically desks." Despite the school motto, "Compassion, Not Competition," overweight Owen is victimized by his sadistic gym teacher as well as by many fellow students. In his spare time, he attempts to construct a video playback time machine in order to discover who murdered his parents two years earlier. Slowly, Owen realizes whom he can trust and what matters to him now. Self-aware and ironic, Owen makes a sympathetic narrator. Readers will also enjoy the portrayals of his younger sister Caitlin, who insists that her name is Jeremy now that she's joined GWAB (Girls Who Are Boys), and transfer student/outcast Mason Rigg, who, rumor has it, carries a switchblade tucked into his sock. Loose ends that appear in the narrative early on are tied up a little too neatly by the end, but the vividly drawn characters offer plenty to enjoy along the way. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Fall
Owen, nearly a genius and "fifty-seven percent fatter" than average, feels like an outcast at school--especially after someone starts stealing his cookies. Meanwhile, he's working on an invention to view two-year-old signals from a neighborhood deli's surveillance camera, the significance of which is explained late in the story. Owen, a likable kid with a fresh voice, ably navigates the tale's many subplots. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2009 April #2
An intriguingly offbeat mystery concerning the theft of cookies from a boy's lunch, at turns humorous, suspenseful and poignant. Intelligent Owen is the fattest kid in his middle school, having packed on the pounds after a major upheaval in his life caused him to begin turning to food as a source of comfort. His younger sister, who has joined up with a group at school called Girls Who Are Boys (GWAB) and taken to insisting that others call her Jeremy, coped by growing tougher. Owen, on the other hand, has become an object of ridicule due to his weight. While the Oreo heist provides the main premise for Owen to engage with other kids at school, there are a number of secondary mysteries crafted alongside it, each of them raising unexpected questions that are neatly wrapped up by the novel's end. While some readers may balk at some of its more convenient coincidences, fans of Jerry Spinelli and others of his ilk may especially enjoy it and will be held rapt. (Mystery. 9-12) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2009 July

Gr 6-8-Owen is the fattest-and smartest-seventh grader in his New York City school. When he's not ducking the school bully or trying to survive the world's most sadistic P.E. teacher, he invents things. Currently Owen has two projects-a TV that will show events in the past and a trap to catch the thief who keeps stealing the Oreos from his lunchbox. There's a lot of middle school banter and adolescent dialogue. However, what begins as a lighthearted adventure gradually takes on a darker tone. Owen calls his invention Nemesis and insists that it needs to reach exactly two years back. As the story evolves, readers learn that there are places in town where he feels distinctly uncomfortable, and that he treasures a note that says only "SLOB." Step by step, Owen reveals the tragedy behind his concerns. Two years earlier, he was hiding in the basement of the family store, listening as his parents were killed by an intruder. Adopted by the 911 operator who took his call after the murders, he dreams of identifying the perpetrator. Although Nemesis fails to solve the crime, Owen is finally able to find closure, with help from his sister, their friends, and, surprisingly, from the dreaded bully himself. A sensitive, touching, and sometimes heartbreakingly funny picture of middle school life.-Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL

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