Review: Because I am Furniture

Anke’s father is abusive. But not to her. He attacks her brother and sister, but she’s just an invisible witness in a house of horrors, on the brink of disappearing altogether. Until she makes the volleyball team at school. At first just being exhausted after practice feels good, but as Anke becomes part of the team, her confidence builds. When she learns to yell “Mine!” to call a ball, she finds a voice she didn’t know existed. For the first time, Anke is seen and heard. Soon, she’s imagining a day that her voice will be loud enough to rescue everyone at home—including herself.–From Goodreads

Thalia Chaltas’ novel in verse, Because I am Furniture, is a quick read, but certainly not a light one. The concept of portraying an abusive family from the perspective of the one child who is not abused is quite unique, and shows that serving as a witness can be just as painful as experiencing the abuse. While the verse itself fell short of my expectations, I appreciated its message. Anke’s increasing strength and confidence may help victims of abuse find their own voices, and for that alone, this book is worthy of praise.

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