Sunday, October 2, 2011

Booktalk: Because I Am Furniture (Virginia Readers' Choice)

Anke is a normal 9th grade girl who plays volleyball, writes poetry, resents the popular kids, and has a crush on a senior boy. But her home life is far from normal. Her father is verbally abusive, physically abusive, and sexually abusive. Anke has an older brother and an older sister, both of whom seem to bear the brunt of her father’s abuse. Anke’s mother is mostly silent and powerless. The children never have people over to the house: it’s almost unthinkable. So Anke does what she can in order to stay emotionally and physically alive in a house which feels like a prison. Even the title – Because I Am Furniture – gives you a view into her mental state. Anke doesn’t feel human at home: she feels like an object, taken for granted, hardly noticed, like furniture. Yet Anke dares to be hopeful. She made a list of things she could live without, and here are some of the things she listed: cars, cell phones, whitening toothpaste, Polo cologne, choosing sides … a father. Because I am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas.

Because I am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas. 352 p. Viking: 2009. Virginia Readers’ Choice for 2011-2012: high school. Due to subject matter, know both the text and your audience when booktalking this title.

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