Book: All of Me (2019)
Author: Chris Baron
Genre: MG, Contemporary
Rating: 4 stars
Basic plot: Ari has to deal with bullies who make fun of his weight. He can’t help being hungry all the time, can he? But, when he reaches a point of self-harm, his mother finally steps in. He’s going on a diet! It’s hard, but Ari perseveres. But he still has struggles with his dad leaving, his friend Lisa not answering his calls, and his mother not really understanding him. On top of it all, he’s working toward his bar mitzvah. Little by little, Ari grows to accept who he is, while at the same time accepting that he can’t change everything.
1) I was really rooting for Ari in this book. I thought his struggles with his weight were realistic. I like that we get to see the process of a transformation. Not that he becomes the skinny kid, but he becomes the person he wants to be.
2) I’m so glad Ari has friends in the story. He still has to deal with the teasing and such, but it’s not like he’s completely alone. But, I’m also glad that those friendships aren’t depicted as perfect. Like the friendship with Lisa. And even the part where Pick abandons him on the bike path to hide.
3) The calls with Gretchen were cute! I was expecting a little surprise there that didn’t quite happen, but I still enjoyed this part of the story.
4) One of my favourite parts is when the diet book “drowns”. Very clever way to deal with that part of the story.
5) I loved the Rabbi! Yes, he was a great addition to the cast of adults. I loved how he just talked to Ari, encouraged and helped him.
6) The book was written in blank verse. I thought it worked pretty well in this book.
7) Loved the ending when Ari goes back to school and sees his old bullies for the first time since school got out for the summer.
WHAT’S NOT COOL…
1) While I liked the camping part, I had a hard time believing the parents would let their kids go on that trip alone. Overnight. By themselves.
My rating is 4 Stars (out of 5) – I would highly recommend this book. Not all people share Ari’s problem, but everybody has something about them that they don’t like. In this book, Ari does some serious soul-searching. And I really like that it ends on a very positive note!
Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday…