From the book jacket...
"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 can show the past. There is something that happened two years ago that he needs to see if he ever hopes to unravel a dreadful mystery.
"But genius or not, there is much Owen can't outthink. Like how his Oreos keep disappearing from his lunch. Or why his sister suddenly wants to be called by a boy's name. Or why a diabolical, scar-faced thug at school seems to be on a mission to destroy him. 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, not a cool contraption, for Owen to see that 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."
I enjoyed this book very much. There were times when it reminded me of Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl and times when I felt like I was reading Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me.
This is a very real realistic fiction novel. Ellen Potter tells Owen's story with such honesty that at times I was cringing wondering if students are really treated this way in school. Not only do Owen's classmates treat him poorly, but so does his gym teacher, Mr. Wooly ("Mr. Hates Unathletic Kids and Enjoys Seeing Them Suffer").
There is a mystery in this book...something Owen is remembering and dealing with that is not revealed until later in the book. Ellen Potter weaved this into her story so delicately that I was surprised when I read it.
This is a great read for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders.
(By the way...Ellen Potter is sponsoring a writing contest. The deadline is June 15, 2010. Click HERE to view the details.)
Mrs. T :)
P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!