Lange, Erin Jade. Butter. NY: Bloomsbury, c2012. 294 pages.
Another book on the Iowa High School Book Award list this year is titled Skinny. These two books deal with excessive obesity in very different ways, but a lot of the feelings and issues of being overweight are much the same. In Skinny, a girl named Ever decides to have gastric bypass surgery. In Butter, the main character who got his nickname after an awful bullying incident, decides to eat himself to death live on the internet. Butter is pretty smart, good in school, and he is an excellent saxophone player, but he keeps to himself for the most part. The only social contact he has at the beginning of the book is a girl from his school that he is involved with online. He knows who she is, but she thinks he is normal looking and just mysterious about showing his picture. When he breaks a chair at an assembly, Butter decides to create a website announcing his plan to eat himself to death. This causes an unexpected consequence and Butter no longer is sure of himself. This book is a good read for anyone who has been on either side of the weight issue or who has been bullied in some way. Obesity is only the visible outer sign of deeper issues that have to be resolved.
This book in on the Iowa High School Book Award list for 2015-2016. Recommended for high school and above. Junior High students could benefit from reading this book as long as they have a clear understanding that Butter's idea is a BAD one! Review by Mrs. Belknap