Sarah Byrnes is worth it, she is the glue in Eric Calhoune’s life at school and after school. Sarah’s damaged face is one of the few things that makes Eric (Moby) feel that someone else has it worse than him. These two have built a friendship based on their mutual misfit status at school. Eric is overweight – really overweight, he is bullied by the bastards and he is the only person that Sarah talks to. When Eric discovers that he has a great deal of talent at swimming and begins to lose weight he worries that the bond between them will be broken, their commonality will be broken, so he decides to maintain his large status and stay fat so that he doesn’t lose Sarah. If he did lose her as a friend she would have nobody and he can’t do that to her. It is a fragile thing this friendship, a change might upset the delicate balance, he is swimming madly, training a lot and also eating to make up for it. It is a fantastic concept! Loyalty stretched to it’s limits!
This book introduces the most marvellous characters, the teacher who is taking a class where everyone gets to discuss issues they want to talk about, a dangerous proposition but this teacher is a gem, she manages a group of kids with extreme views. The issue that they end up discussing is religion and how a persons behaviour isn’t necessarily a good fit with their actions. But wait, there is a bunch more stuff in here. There is bullying, hypocrisy, self image, child abuse and courage but that really only just scratches the surface.
This would be the most fantastic book to study in an English class. So much to discuss, multitudes of issues you could sink your teeth into. I’ll be buying another copy and recommending it to Yr 11 and 12 students. A book to remember.