Review Blog

Mar 02 2014

Butter by Erin Jade Lange

cover image

Faber, 2013. ISBN 9780571294404.
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended. Obesity. Bullying. Suicide. YALSA 2013 Teens' Top Ten titles, Telegraph's Top 10 YA books 2013. Butter is a lonely, extremely overweight boy who is ignored at school. Although he is a very talented saxophone player, Butter refuses to join the school band and efforts to control his weight have failed. Desperate for recognition, he sets up a website, ButterLastMeal.com, where he announces that he will eat himself to death on New Year's Eve. To his surprise, some of his classmates become morbidly interested in his plan, betting on what he will eat for his last meal and closing off access to the website to only people who can be trusted not to report what is going on.
This is a riveting read; I was totally engrossed as Butter describes how he got his nickname, his mother's futile fluttering about his eating, while enabling it, his father's seemingly indifference to his son and his heart-breaking anonymous online correspondence with Anna, one of the popular girls at school. Lange vividly describes Butter's feelings as he suddenly becomes popular with the in crowd at school. They invite him to go bowling, to parties and to sit with them in the canteen. Their perverse interest in his impending suicide and their attempts to ensure that news of it doesn't reach the authorities are all overlooked by Butter as for the first time he feels that he belongs.
This story delves into the heart and mind of a young man whose obesity governs everything that he does. The reader learns about his feelings, his struggles and his overwhelming need to belong. The bullying, both physical and online is told in a straight forward manner, and none of the characters are black or white, all have flaws and strengths. As a reader I was kept on the edge of my seat as I wondered how Butter would cope when his deadline approached.
This is a book that is a worthy addition to a library, not only because of its themes of obesity and bullying, but because of the way that it grabs the reader's attention.
Pat Pledger

BUY IT NOW ON booktopia
Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
International Children's Book Day 2nd April, 2017
CILIP Kate Greenaway Medals 2017 longlist
CILIP Carnegie Medal longlist 2017
Branford Boase Award 2017 longlist
Children's Book Award 2017 shortlist
Infographic: Teen reading habits
Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2017
Newbery and Caldecott Medals 2017
ALA awards 2017
Costa Children's Book Award 2016
National Simultaneous Storytime 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Science fiction and fantasy lists SAETA conference 2015
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Books for boys
Bookmark and poster templates