My first ever “verse novel” and what a neat adventure. I know… I have Crank and Glass by Ellen Hopkins lined up to read – but I was a bit worried about reading a verse novel – wasn’t sure I’d get it. Now here’s how silly I can be when I hit the Library, I picked up this book – read the caption on the back and thought YES this sounds great and didn’t even look inside the book. Only when I got home did I take a closer look at the five books I borrowed when I realized that Because I am Furniture was a verse novel.
Because I am Furniture is a story about a young girl who lives in an abusive home but somehow her father doesn’t see her and so she, herself is not a victim. Anke is the youngest of three teenagers in her family. Her Dad pays too much attention to her older brother and sister – while Anke sits on the sidelines knowing what’s happening but not willing to acknowledge it. Anke is also a freshman in high school and makes the volleyball team. Being an integral part of a team Anke builds her confidence and finds her voice! When her family’s problems spill onto her friend, Angelique – Anke finds the courage to speak up against her father! She is no longer furniture she really has saved her family.
The topic of this story is a hard one but it is handled so well in the form of a verse novel that I think every individual reading this book will bring their own stories – making it either a harder read or making it an eye-opening read. As I noted above I’ve never read a verse novel before and found that at first it was a bit tough – but once I got the hang of it – it was rather freeing and open. Without all the detailed accounting of a scene, the reader really is allowed and in my thoughts given permission to fill in the blanks. The structure of the verse on the page added punch to some of the scenes in this story as well. Really neat! Ok for someone who was weary about reading verse novels – I’m looking forward to reading more.
Ages: 14 and up
“Eavesdropping on strangers
gives more insight into a life
than having a conversation with someone you know.
People are more honest
when they don’t know you are listening.” p. 202
Chaltras, Thalia. (2010). Because I am Furniture. Toronto, ON: Speak.
Author website: http://www.thaliachaltas.com/