Slob

( 76 )

Overview

Twelve-year-old Owen Birnbaum is the fattest kid in school. But he's also a genius who invents cool contraptions? like a TV that shows the past. Something happened two years ago that he needs to see. But genius or not, there is much Owen can't outthink. Like his gym coach, who's on a mission to humiliate him. Or the way his Oreos keep disappearing from his lunch. He's sure that if he can only get the TV to work, things will start to make sense. But it will take a revelation for Owen, not science, to see the ...

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Overview

Twelve-year-old Owen Birnbaum is the fattest kid in school. But he's also a genius who invents cool contraptions? like a TV that shows the past. Something happened two years ago that he needs to see. But genius or not, there is much Owen can't outthink. Like his gym coach, who's on a mission to humiliate him. Or the way his Oreos keep disappearing from his lunch. He's sure that if he can only get the TV to work, things will start to make sense. But it will take a revelation for Owen, not science, to see the answer's not in the past, but the present. That no matter how large he is on the outside, he doesn't have to feel small on the inside.

With her trademark humor, Ellen Potter has created a larger-than-life character and story whose weight is immense when measured in heart.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
. . . the vividly drawn characters offer plenty to enjoy along the way.
Children's Literature - Kristy Lyn Sutorius
Here Ellen Potter takes a giant leap away from the magical world of Olivia Kidney and the ritzy restaurant world of Pish Posh. Owen is a fourteen-year-old, overweight, emotional eater, bullied by his classmates, harassed by his gym teacher, and singled out by an Oreo thief. Although Owen's various traps fail at school, the radio telescope he has building at home is finally coming together. His goal is to use old radio waves to view images from a video camera. Owen keeps everyone—except his younger sister Jeremy—in the dark as to why he needs to see footage from one particular night. As the story unfolds, so too does the story of what happened to Owen and Jeremy's mother and father one night in their New York City deli. Carefully crafted, modern characters are the focal point of the story. Potter tackles issues like obesity, bullying, and transgender topics with sensitivity but without sacrificing reality. The references to older TV sitcoms like Happy Days, BJ and the Bear, and The Beverly Hillbillies may be lost on middle-schoolers, but they will enjoy the read regardless. It is recommended for purchase by school and public libraries. Reviewer: Kristy Lyn Sutorius
School Library Journal
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
Kirkus Reviews
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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399247057
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 5/14/2009
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 70,163
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Ellen Potter lives in Ithaca, New York.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 76 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(56)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 76 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2011

    slob is the best

    when i read slob i thought it was boring at first but omce i got past the 3 third chapter there was no turning back READ THIS BOOK

    15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2012

    Perfect for young readers

    I had read this book about 15 times and every time i read this it makes me smile

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 6, 2011

    Read it

    I couldnt put it down

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2011

    One of my new fave books!

    Slob is such a good book! I love, Love, LOVE it. It's so eventful and it defs. keeps you on your toes! :D

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2009

    Highly recommended

    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

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2010

    by: chocolate thunder

    Slob is well written and is great read for all ages. Ellen Potter did a fantastic job of narrating and describing how Owen, a very hefty and smart boy, tries to use his smarts to create Nemesis and find the one responsible for taking his Oreos. If you are one for adventure and mystery then this is a great book for you. Once you start it you become entangled in the story and can't stop till you know all the answers.
    Some great things about the book is, it is a nice steady pace and nothing really happens out of the blue. Ellen wrote it to where some part she was narrating herself then would go back have Owen narrate. I felt like this really helped me keep things in line. She did a good job describing all of her characters and how the interact and how they look.
    However, in some parts you don't know why Owen acts or does something strange until the near end so you might be a little fuzzy on why he feels sick when he pulls out a slip of paper with SLOB written on it until he tells the situation later. There were also a couples parts where I think she rambles on about nothing then tries to jump back into the story but it doesn't affect the story really. It just kind makes you go "What?". Other than those couple sections it is very easy to read.
    I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that needs a book for an assignment, for fun, or for a book club. Ellen Potter is a great author and you will with no doubt enjoy it. It is fun and entertaining and it will keep your attention start to finish.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2012

    Is it really 14$?

    My librarian described it to me and it sounds really good but my friend has the book and it says $4.99 on the back. On my NOOK it says $13.99. Is there a mistake?

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2012

    HOLY CRAP!!!

    This was an AMAZING book!!! Kids of all ages should or have someone read this to them! A must read!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2012

    :)

    Boring at first but once u get pasted a few chapters then it will get interesting.
    Loved it and u will too!!!!!!!!!!!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2011

    Amazing!!!!!!¿¿¿¿¿$?

    I loved it

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2012

    Haha!

    I love Ellen Potter and her sense of humor. Great book for young readers.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    Good book

    I like this book i would let kids read this 11 and up due to the swear words

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Great book

    The narrator,(the main character owen), is just fun to listen to. I love ellen potter. This is an awesome book and a reccomend it fora nice,fun, relaxing read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2011

    That's weird.

    This book is at my local library. :0

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2011

    Megs f Megs rev

    It soooooooo good

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2011

    Best Book Ever

    This book is about an orphan Owen Burnban and his sister. Owen is always getting bugged at school. People call him swears and do other mean things to him. He tries to accomplish making a satellite so the TV could work. His sister Jeremy is in a group of girls who want to be boys so they wear boy's clothes and have boys haircuts. They both have no mother or father all they have is a mom who adopted them named Zelda. And Owen only has one friend Izzy I highly recommend this book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 4, 2011

    Slob

    This book has a lot of meaning to it and can actually happen in real life.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2011

    Awesome!!!!!!!

    This book was AMAZING! I couldn't put it down. You should really read this book! Everone who loves mysteries should read this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 14, 2011

    Funny+funny

    This+book+is+fun+and+heart+pounding+at+the+same+time.+It+tells+you+not+to+judge+a+book+by+its+cover+and+love+who+you+are.+But+I+still+think+it+could+have+been+put+in+better+context.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2011

    Love this book!!!! Read it!!!!

    Once I started reading this book I couldn't put it down! I laughed out loud and just loved it! If your looking for a funny quick read defenitly read it!! I recommend it 100%!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 76 Customer Reviews

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