Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Because I am Furniture-- Thalia Chaltas
Anke is invisible. No, she really is. She has two siblings, and they are not invisible, not one bit. In fact, her father can see them so well he never seems to leave them alone. Ever. Anke's sister Yaicha is a genius with makeup. Maybe she will go to cosmetology school when she grows up. Or maybe she has covered up so many bruises and scrapes, she has become an expert by default. Anke's brother Darren is a daredevil and popular at school. He's also tough, but never tough enough to keep his father at bay. Their father is an alcoholic, physically and sexually abusive. And their mother just looks away.
No one knows why Anke is invisible to her father. He literally never speaks to her, never visits her room in the middle of the night, never uses her face as a punching bag. And the sad, sad thing is that Anke is so desperate for someone to love her, so desperate for human touch, she almost wishes he would... well... anything would be better than being invisible, right? Anything would be better than being a piece of furniture.
This is the debut work by Thalia Chaltas, and though I am not fond of the verse-novel format, I know it's popular with teens. This is an unflinchingly realistic tale of abuse, silence, and the need for human contact. Although the words are sparse, the reader really feels a connection to Anke. Teens will relate to Anke's strength and suffering, and I can't wait to recommend this to girls who are fans of Sonya Sones, Ellen Hopkins, Laura Wiess's Such a Pretty Girl, and Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak.
This book will be published in April 2009.