BECAUSE I AM FURNITURE by Thalia Chaltas

BECAUSE I AM FURNITURE

Age Range: 14 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

Free verse, sometimes piquant and sometimes plain, describes very short scenes about a ninth grader with an abusive father. He beats her brother, beats and rapes her sister, but ignores Anke, invisible like “furniture.” She knows she’s lucky, yet she aches with jealousy for the attention. Anke narrates in first person, her brief verses denser than they first appear: Her father, after hitting her brother, “pick[s] up his reasons and his plate” to leave the room; her sister’s voice is “flat as mud at low tide.” Despite the copious white space, the verse pacing is slow and halting from Anke’s years of living in silence. Two gentle interactions with boys mitigate her primary sorrow. This family of “live-in victims” never resists or rebels until Anke—strengthened by a powerful season on the school volleyball team—confronts her father for attempting to rape a schoolmate whom Anke doesn’t even like. He smashes a chair over her, breaking her leg, but the explosion prompts his expulsion from the family. A harder read than it seems, but worth it. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: April 16th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-670-06298-0
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2009




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