Slob

Slob

4.5 80
by Ellen Potter
     
 

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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

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.

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)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101050811
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
05/14/2009
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
843,193
Lexile:
740L (what's this?)
File size:
207 KB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Like my character, Olivia Kidney, I grew up in a high-rise apartment building in New York City’s Upper West Side. In fact, the idea for Olivia Kidney came from a game I used to play when I was about eight or nine years old. I would watch people in the building’s elevator (most of whom I knew nothing about) and make up crazy stories about their apartments. There was one woman, for instance, who was sort of chubby and always cheerful, so I imagined that she lived in an apartment made entirely of chocolate! I imagined that her walls were made of chocolate, so she could lick them, and her furniture was chocolate, and she had a chocolate refrigerator that only contained chocolate eggs and chocolate milk. And if she got hungry in the middle of the night, she could nibble on her bed.

I remember the exact moment when I knew, without a doubt, that I wanted to be a writer. I was eleven years old and I was in my school library, strolling through the aisles, trying to decide what to read next. Should it be A Wrinkle in Time? Or maybe Harriet the Spy. In a flash, I decided that the best books in the world were written for eleven-year-olds! Sadly, my twelfth birthday was just around the corner. So I reasoned that the only thing to do was to grow up and write books for eleven-year-olds. Which is pretty much what happened (after many years and piles of rejections letters).

I studied creative writing at Binghamton University. After graduating I worked many different jobs while I continued to write. I was a dog groomer, a construction worker, an art teacher, and a waitress. Having lots of different jobs is a terrific advantage for a writer. Because of them, I know all kinds of oddball things, which I’ve used in my books, like how to remove bubble gum from a dog’s fur (peanut butter). In fact, it was while I was addressing envelopes during a boring stint as a receptionist that a name caught my eye: Olivia Kidney. What a great name, I thought! I jotted it down in my journal. Years later, while thumbing through my old journals, I spotted the name and decided it was perfect for the feisty twelve-year-old heroine of my first children’s book.

These days, my husband and I live in upstate New York with our new baby boy and a motley assortment of badly behaved animals.

For more information visit www.ellenpotter.com.

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Slob 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 80 reviews.
Shirley Palmer More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had read this book about 15 times and every time i read this it makes me smile
mai faye More than 1 year ago
I couldnt put it down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Slob is such a good book! I love, Love, LOVE it. It's so eventful and it defs. keeps you on your toes! :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an AMAZING book!!! Kids of all ages should or have someone read this to them! A must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Boring at first but once u get pasted a few chapters then it will get interesting. Loved it and u will too!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Ellen Potter and her sense of humor. Great book for young readers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like this book i would let kids read this 11 and up due to the swear words
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SLOB by Ellen Potter is a good book with a good plot and storyline that could either make you cry, or warm your heart. Can be a little off topic though at times. Overall, a 3 star rating.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was AMAZING! I couldn't put it down. You should really read this book! Everone who loves mysteries should read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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%!!!
Teri6112 More than 1 year ago
i love it
Alexa Baker More than 1 year ago
it was a mystery at some parts and funny at others. i felt bad for the main character though.but i think the author did a good job at the beginning of the book.it was unusuall!
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Ellen Potter's SLOB is as delicious as its main character's beloved Oreo cookies (more on the cookies later). Things are not going well for twelve-year-old Owen Birnbaum. Even if you're one point from having a genius IQ, there are still some problems that are almost impossible to solve. Owen's 57% fatter than the national average, which is bad enough, but after he embarrasses his gym teacher, Mr. Woolsey is out for revenge. Plus, someone is stealing his Oreos, which is the only thing that makes his school lunch of tofu and tea bearable. Owen suspects it's the school sociopath who keeps a switch blade in his sock. Some people would shrug and say that's how the cookie crumbles, but not Owen. He's not a quitter. Admittedly, he's not much of a fighter either, but he's great at inventing contraptions to solve his problems. For over a year now, he's been building a TV that can see into the past. While Owen tries utilizing his sleuthing skills to get to the bottom of the Oreo mystery, readers also have to discover exactly why he's spent the last two years trying to look into the past. The characters are full of quirks like Nima the Buddhist who sells momos in front of the Museum of Natural History, and Jeremy, Owen's little sister, who insists on dressing and acting like a boy. Ellen Potter manages to keep the perfect balance between dark, gritty cookie and smooth, sweet cream. Being a kid, especially being Owen Birnbaum, is no joke, at least not in the hardy-har way. Though Owen is inevitably the butt of some jokes, his own witty and wry observations make his adversaries seem like amateurs. I found myself laughing plenty at the insanity of grownups, both well-meaning and diabolical, of sixth grade feminist groups, and kid sisters. This is a book that doesn't make being a kid seem like either a cakewalk or a prison sentence. Five stars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read for school and it is great i finished it in 2 days
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love how the ending is sorta unexpected.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the sample of 4 pages and loved it. Even though owen is the opisite of me in every way i still really enjoyed the quick sample read. I recemmend this book to those who love to read the personal narritive like me. Would rate 1,000,000 stars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book shows us hard it is fir obese teens and preteens thats are getting bullied
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I live the story and it also has comedy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is amazing